Recommended book: The Bell Jar

If you’re into clinical depression and New York City, I’ve got a book for you.

the bell jar

Lisa Simpson, an apparent sadist, is smiling while reading about Esther Greenwood’s severe and relentless feelings of despondency and dejection.

Esther is the main character and she is on the trajectory from teenagehood to adulthood. This book outlines the depressing feelings associated with that distressing metamorphosis.

Esther is a college student who is living in New York as a guest editor. She lives with other girls in a women’s hotel. She feels deadened.

Maybe recommended books should be more obscure than The Bell Jar. I’m recommending it anyways because, in my experience, Plath is overly associated with her sad death and that association can overshadow the quality of her writing. I think that association deters some people from giving The Bell Jar a shot, lest they be subjected to the bleak and perhaps melodramatic angst of a 1950s emo.

My point is, I think you should read it anyways. Below is a quote from the book that I like. If you also like this quote, give the rest of the book a read.

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

Thank you for reading.

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