Monday, 14 October 2013

The Bell Jar

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This weekend I went to a book group on Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. I have not read The Bell Jar. This should have been a ridiculous idea but it was actually really interesting to get people's views on it before I read it AND I wasn't the only person who hadn't read it.

So, in the workshop I read the first three pages of The Bell Jar and concluded that Esther isn't overly cheery. Someone brought up the idea of feminism, if I'm honest I didn't really see a feminist issue on these three pages. Yes, Esther acknowledges that women had few opportunities at this time but the fact is she had opportunity, the issue is the fact she doesn't care about the opportunities. Nout to do with being a woman. She had big opportunities but was too depressed to appreciate them, yes?

"I felt very still and very empty"

Obviously, at this point I have only read a tiny part of the book but I am honestly not seeing the feminist issue others seemed to also at this point. I'm seeing depression is capital letters. This is a person who has lots of things she should be enjoying but isn't, take out the pronouns and would you be picking up on the same things? I don't understand the need to make feminist issues out of gender neutral circumstances, people get depressed and at this point in the novel there is no reason to think it is a result of oppression.

For the record I am a feminist and I am now reading The Bell Jar.

Hannah :)
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, UK

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