Esther's Madness In The Bell Jar

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Throughout The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath the main character, Esther Greenwood, presents her erratic actions in such a way that they seem reasonable to the reader, her behavior also serves to highlight the stress in her life. Esther’s irrationality is apparent on her last night in New York when she throws all of her clothes of the top of a building. Instead of being a ridiculous and counterproductive event the reader is presented with the idea that the clothes represent everything that had gone wrong during Esther’s time in New York: each piece of clothing tied to a disappointing moment. So it is only reasonable that Esther start over with new clothes for a new start. At Esther’s arrival back home she cannot eat, sleep, or write for weeks. Eventually it is casually mentioned that she ate raw hamburger mixed with egg, but since raw is better than nothing this is not an alarming occurrence. After a few weeks of this Esther has decided that the answer to her problems is to kill herself. Again this should inspire alarm…show more content…
Without her madness the book would not have been nearly as effective at showing the difficulty that comes with transitioning from college to adulthood. Near the end of college young adults have to deal with the prospects of dating and marriage, the hectic challenges presented by the last year of college, and the enormous decisions of where and what to do after college. These choices will affect them for the rest of their lives so of course it is a stressful time. Henceforth it is easy to see that the madness in this “coming of age” novel is very important. The fact of the matter is that without Esther’s madness the author could not have shown nearly as effectively just how stressful and demanding this period of life is. Esther slowly slipping madness because of all the decisions in her life creates a very powerful
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