The Bell Jar Analysis

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Topics: Sigmund Freud
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath is a novel that was published in 1963 that chronicles the story of Esther Greenwood. Esther is a young woman who just finished her junior year of college, and like most young adults her age, she is plagued with an overwhelming sense of uncertainty about what lies in store for her in the future. Esther is extremely conflicted between the various paths she could choose to follow, which leads her into a state of depression that ultimately sends her to an asylum. There, she undergoes electroshock therapy, which does not alleviate her depression in the slightest. Esther only ever starts to feel emotions apart from her depression when her friend, Joan, whom she met in the asylum, surprisingly commits suicide. Esther continues …show more content…
As previously mentioned, the id, ego, and superego are mediating “agressivesexual” impulses, which originate from the id (Ahonen 19). One of Esther’s highest priorities is to lose her virginity because her id desires are so strong. She subconsciously thinks that if her sexual desire is satisfied, she will feel better. In the beginning of the novel, she sees and hears about her peers engaging in sexual activities, such as Lenny and Doreen in chapter two. Then, she begins to fantasize about her own sexual awakening: “There I went again, building up a glamorous picture of the man who would love me passionately the minute he met me, and all out of a few prosy nothings (Plath 61). Esther continuously meets men, such as Buddy Willard and Marco who belittle her as their own sexual objects. For example, Marco and Esther were walking together one night and Esther fell to the ground. She thought that if she lie there, “it would happen,” i.e. she would finally lose her virginity (Plath 121). Marco began to call her “Slut” as he undressed her, until she felt as if she were being raped (Plath 121-22). Then, she punched him and cried until he stopped. While this was Esther’s first experience where she came close to losing her virginity, it did not appease her id desires, especially because it was not welcomed. It is not until Esther meets Irwin that her wish finally comes

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