The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
GENRE: Memoir | PAGES: 234
My rating: ★★★★★
I went into this novel rather blindly and I have to say I preferred it that way–it allowed me to make up my own mind. To say that I ‘enjoyed’ this book would seem inappropriate but nevertheless, I’ll admit that I did.
I find Plath’s style thought-provoking and full of imagery. In one review I saw moments ago, it was noted that there was no mention of a diagnosis and hardly any discussion of treatment. I have to say, in the book’s defence, that it would seem that Plath didn’t need to label her protagonist’s illness. Everything seemed to be written as thought processes and emotion and this worked incredibly well given that depression (from my own personal experience) is such an inward and isolating illness. Plath’s likening of this to a bell jar fits perfectly.
She captures the chaos of the mind and puts it on the page so beautifully that I often wanted to read a sentence more than once just to absorb it all over again.
Overall, a brilliant novel and one that will stay with me for a long time.
“To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is a bad dream.”