The bell jar by Sylvia Plath Summary addresses the question of existence and identity, the novel revolves around the character of EstherThe bell jar by Sylvia Plath Summary addresses the question of existence and identity, the novel revolves around the character of Esther

The bell jar by Sylvia Plath Summary

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath Summary addresses the question of existence and identity, the story of the novel revolves around the character of Esther who is expected to become a housewife in the course of the novel. But we witness her heroic qualities and struggle over her sanity that she does not resign before the thunders of troubles and miseries burst upon her. She undergoes a severe kind of psychological treatment. The bell jar is about the mental and emotional condition of a woman who is at war with the strong forces which try to defeat her in the course of the novel. When she undergoes mental disease she does not resign totally but yields courage to stand up again against the futile forces of life. The title of the novel indicates the sanity and madness of Esther from which she survived at the last, but she remained alert to the fact that she could encounter the bell jar of madness again in her life at any time.


The Bell Jar novel by Sylvia Plath is a Summary and the story of a passionate girl who tries to become a poet while attending college. She remained captive throughout the novel when tries to fulfil the expectation of society. The protagonist of the novel, a young girl named Esther Greenwood has started a new job as a guest editor at New York magazine. She was the employer of a demanding woman but showed sympathy with her employers. Esther and her fellows stayed at a girls’ hostel in the city. They were offered wine and dine there on the trip and were offered presents. The protagonist feels hope that she must have a good time in the coming years of life but at the present moment, she was burdened with a sense of feeling that she is feeling dead. She was worried about the execution of Rossenberg at that time. She was not ready to accept the rebellious attitude of his friends about the matter. Esther and her fellows were suffering from a tragic health condition. They all were feeling food poisoning at that moment. At the crucial time, the protagonist of the play was caught in a situation where she was going to lose her virginity with a UN interpreter. But there seems a situation of infidelity. And he did not move on her wish and remained uninterested. She was anxious about her future life during her stay there. Suddenly she seems to be pondering over her crafty abilities during college time and she thought that what she will suffer after leaving college. She was going to move from the city. She faced an attempt of being raped by a man during the last night of her stay in the city. She was having a date with a blind man whose name was Marco and who tried to rape her during this meeting. This incident led her on the edge to lose her virginity.

In the synopsis of The bell jar by Sylvia Plath she was pondering over the different ideas that either she could marry a man to continue her domestic affairs or she will remain busy in satisfying her soul through these kinds of tricky affairs with different persons. She was engaged in different affairs to satisfy her wild ambition. Buddy Willard was the name of her boyfriend who was badly suffering from a disease. He wants to marry her when he will completely recover from illness. He looks elegant and sober. He is an intelligent man of the city. He remained unable to feel the desire of Esther about becoming a poet and writing about good poetry. She became convinced that he would not marry him because he had slept with a waitress while having a date with the waitress. She was thinking him a hypocrite. She was ready to lose her virginity in the course of the novel. The incident remained mysterious.

As far as The bell jar by Sylvia Plath Summary is concerned When she returned to Boston she came to know the fact that nobody was ready to accept her as a writer.  She failed to achieve her plans. She decided to spend the summer vacation with her mother in Boston. During her stay, she decided to undertake an expedition of writing a novel.  She tries to learn shorthand and takes the responsibility of writing a thesis for his senior while staying there. Then she realized that something was unreal around her. She decided to take the expedition of plunging into the reality of something. She wants the reality of things in a real manner. She does not want to be detached from the true events. She was fed up with the unreality of her life which she faced during her stay in New York.

She seemed to be detached from everything. She cuts off from her daily routine of reading, writing and even taking a bath. Her mother gets worried at the moment and tried to get her examined immediately. She was in need of getting examined by a well-recognized psychiatrist. The psychiatrist recommended electric shock therapy for the protagonist in order to make her well soon. But instead of recovering she was destabilized. Her condition becomes worse and worse with every passing day. Esther could not stable herself after this terrifying and horrible treatment. She went into a condition where she decided to take her life. She commits suicide many times. She was feeling utmost madness on several occasions because of which she tried to take her life on several occasions. She tries to cut her wrist in order to take her life. In the abstract of The bell jar by Sylvia Plath, she attempts to take her life by hanging herself but she could not find the place where she can tie the rope. She was not lucky enough not to find any proper means while trying to decline her life at several moments. She could not succeed in finding a place for rope in the lower ceiling of the roof. She went to the beach with her friends and tried to take her life by diving into the ocean, but she could not succeed there too because she remained floating on the upper surface of the water instead of drowning in the water.

Finally, she finds a way where she can take her life easily by engulfing a large amount of sleeping pills while she hides herself in the basement. This time she had survived too and tried too and finds herself lying in the hospital. She finds not any kind of permanent physical injuries from this suicide attempt. She was admitted to the psychological ward after being recovered from her physical injury. She remained uncooperative and tries to take her life again and again. Guanea a famous novelist came there like an angel. He pays the bills in order to shift her to a better private hospital for further treatment. A sudden change is being realized in the temperament of Esther when she started trusting her new psychiatrist. She seems to be recovering with the help of Dr Nolan. Dr Nolan was a friendly and amiable kind of woman and can amuse anyone at any time. She undergoes certain kinds of speech therapies and seems to be recovering soon.  She seems to be showing a friendly attitude with Joan. Joan belonged to the hometown of Esther. But soon she realized that Joan has tried to advance sexually towards her and she felt repulsive behaviour at this attitude.

When she seems to be stable to some extent hospital authorities gave their consent to shift Esther from hospital to home. She lost her virginity at the hands of a Math professor named Irwin. During the course of the time Buddy tries to visit Esther and came to realize the fact that he has lost the true essence of his relationship with her and everything is over now. At this period she felt disappointment because every relationship has lost its true meaning. Esther seemed to recover from the disease rapidly and she will be able to attend the next semester meanwhile. She came to realize the idea that she has rebuilt a grasp over sanity and madness. She became able to fight with sanity and madness. She is aware of the tedious fact of life that a bell jar of madness can descend on her and her life is in constant danger. But she has heroic qualities in fighting against the disease. She did not allow her madness to subdue her dreams of becoming a writer. Sylvia Plath tries to depict the real tension of life through the character of Esther. She has vividly depicted the conflict between the individual and society. She intensifies the sadness and madness of the protagonist to give a mixture of pathos and struggle in which we can achieve something better. The protagonist is the true victim of the surroundings and society but manages to escape from the burden of the hardships of life. She does not resign before the evil forces of her surrounding but seems to be fighting with a dangerous spirit. She seems to be on the victorious side.

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