Saturday, 4 August 2007

The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath


I picked this book from Soleil's list for the "Something about me" challenge, because I had a vague notion of Sylvia Plath being a famous feminist poet of the "second wave", studied in universities courses and worshipped by many. I don't usually read poetry so I thought her only novel might be a good way to know her.I thought the story of her life might be inspirational. But her life have been so depressing that I had a hard time finishing the book. Every situation, setting, atmosphere, was so gloomy and unwelcoming. If that's how she perceived life, I understand why she took hers. I'm glad I finished it though. The most interesting part is the last one, when her "insanity" brings Esther/Sylvia in different asylums and shows us the way doctors used to deal with "madness" at that time. It was obvious to me that she wasn't in any sense mad. She was depressed, insecure, unhappy, living constantly under a bell jar, feeling trapped. But all they could do was giving her electroshocks and injections. Not one of the doctors tried to listen to her, or even understand her. That was irritating, discouraging and very disturbing.
I felt it was a necessary read to do, but I didn't enjoy it, and I'm happy I'm done with it.

5 comments:

Nymeth said...

It's definitely a very, very depressing books. It's been years since I read it but I still remember the sadness I felt when I was done with it.

soleil said...

i posted some comments on your review on the challenge page. i'd like your feedback if you are so inclined. :)
it really is such an interesting and unique challenge idea.

valentina said...

OK Soleil I will!

bie said...

The book has been described all over again as depressing, but why not see the other side of it? The book gives us an overview on how things are going that time, and it gives us an edge on how to improve things so each of us may live a fuller life, avoid depression, cure whatever there is to cure. In other words, let's be thankful for the pages that open our eyes to the realities of life.

valentina said...

I don't know if I can see where this book helps to see the brighter side of life. I didn't have any preconception before reading it, I didn't know that many people thought it was depressing, but this is just what I felt. Maybe if I knew what to expect I would have approached it in a different way and tried to understand why she couldn't find a way out. But while I was reading it I just couldn't wait till it was over.