The Bell Jar // Sylvia Plath
Whenever I receive that dreaded question every book lover/English nerd can’t avoid – “So, what’s your favourite book then?” – I always answer with “The Bell Jar,” to which the person asking the question looks really confused and a little bit worried. Because, “isn’t it all depressing and that?” To answer the question, yes, it is at times. It’s haunting and it’s incredibly dark, but it’s more than simply that. It’s poetic and beautiful to read throughout, and it is incredibly honest. A novel about identity and the fragility of life. I’d describe The Bell Jar as a perfect book for anyone feeling a little bit lost, a little bit anti-establishment and a little disconnected with the system you’re embroiled in, holding a lot of resonance with Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. When I read the novel, in the midst of A Levels, I could identity with Esther’s over achieving self; the sentence: “All my life I told myself that studying and writing and reading like mad was what I wanted to do, and it actually seemed to be true, I did everything well enough and got all A’s and by the time I went to college nobody could stop me,” sums up my school days.
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