Just Read: Bell Jar


It’s past midnight and my second night at home (i’m on holiday), but I just want to leave a quick note about one of the best books I’ve read.

I’ve just finished The Bell Jar.

This book is so deeply personal that I don’t want to call it a ‘masterpiece’, even though this was the first word that sprang to mind. For calling it so would be a misdemeanour to Plath and her book in my opinion; I absolutely love Bell Jar because of the purity in Esther’s narration – her account is made all the more intimate when we know that she is a semi-version of Plath herself.

But, regardless of its autobiographical aspect, the book is indeed a masterpiece. The vocabulary is superb and I read somewhere that Plath used to attend creative writing courses, which can be felt throughout the book, especially with regards to the structure of her paragraphs. It doesn’t really surprise me that she made the most of these classes, given that she was a very brilliant student who won a scholarship for Cambridge. Her bell jar analogy besides is one of the highlights of this book. The fictional side of the book is just as impressive.

During my reading of the book, I felt as if the world around me was banal, cold and senseless, because I could relate so much to Esther and not so much to anybody else. It was a delight to delve into her world every night. Because of how well-written it is and what it is about, I feel that Bell Jar is a once-in-a-lifetime book that was written way ahead of its time.

Perfect on every level.


8 thoughts on “Just Read: Bell Jar”

  1. Ah, The Bell Jar is truly magnificent. I’d not hesitate to call it a masterpiece, but I can also see why you’d want to avoid the term. I’m so happy you’ve finally read it and enjoyed it so much! It’s definitely a book everyone should read at least once in their lifetime – preferably in their 20s. Esther is one of the few characters that I’ve truly related to and that have left an impact on me, and her story feels so honest but also raw in the finest way.
    P.S. I was so glad to see you pop up in my blog feed! I hope you’re having a lovely and relaxing holiday and I look forward to hearing more about the books you’re reading and loving 🙂

    1. True, Bell Jar is such an unforgettable read. I even dreamed about Sylvia Plath last night. Her life fascinates me and I want to read more about her.
      Haha, that’s nice to hear. I haven’t been reading much because of uni life, but I plan to catch a little over the coming two months. I see you’re still as diligent as ever with your reading and that your favourite book is still North and South! 😮

  2. I haven’t read this particular book, but I’m not greatly surprised to hear how it affected you – Plath’s poetry is so emotionally powerful, no wonder her fiction (well, fictionalised autobiography) has the same power. She’s a devastating read…

    1. I cannot get Bell Jar out of my mind since I finished it on Tuesday. The story is unforgettable and so poignant.It is also so autobiographical that I feel like I’ve gained an important insight into Plath’s troubled life. To be honest, it has quite a bit made me depressed.

      Plath was such an intriguing individual, and it’s a shame that she only wrote one novel during her regrettably short lifetime. So, yes, I will definitely read her poetry and other works on her life.

      Ah, I now understand other people’s fascination about her…..

      1. Oh yes, Plath is depressing. But that’s part of her strength, I think. I certainly recommend reading some of her poetry, even if poetry might not be primarily your genre.

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