The Bell Jar is a novel written by Sylvia Plath. The book was published in 1963, shortly after her death. The novel is semi-autobiographical, and tells the story of a young woman’s mental breakdown.
One of the most distinctive features of The Bell Jar is its use of figurative language. Sylvia Plath uses a variety of poetic devices to create a powerful and haunting effect. Some of the most common devices used are metaphor, simile, and personification.
For example, in the following passage, the narrator describes the way that she feels trapped by her depression: “The bell jar hung upon my head like the ceiling of a prison.” This image creates a sense of claustrophobia and entrapment. The bell jar represents the depression that is suffocating the narrator.
Another example comes from a scene in which the narrator is watching a woman on the street: “She was like a butterfly, hovering in the air.” This simile compares the woman to a butterfly, which is a creature that is free and graceful. It creates a contrast between the woman and the narrator, who is trapped by her depression.
The Bell Jar is full of striking images like these, which create a powerful effect on the reader. Sylvia Plath’s use of figurative language makes the novel an unforgettable reading experience.
Both The Bell Jar and A Brief History of Time use figurative language. When Esther is admitted to a mental institution, she feels overwhelmed with helplessness. In her deluded mental state, she opines, “It wouldn’t have made a difference to me because I’d be sitting in the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air.” (Plath 185) Esther compares herself to an object that is “sitting under a glass bell jar. ” Throughout the novel, the metaphor of the bell jar appears repeatedly.
The bell jar is a representation of the limitations that society places on women. The glass ceiling metaphorically restricts Esther from achieving her goals. Similarly, in A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking discusses the universe and time. He says, “In order to understand the universe at all, we have to remember that we are dealing with something which is four-dimensional in space and one-dimensional in time” (Hawking 9). Hawking uses a metaphor to describe the universe.
The four dimensions of space represent the height, width, depth, and time of an object. The one dimension of time represents how an object moves through space. The metaphor allows readers to visualize the concepts that Hawking is discussing. Both Plath and Hawking use figurative language to help readers understand complex concepts. The use of figurative language allows for a deeper level of understanding and connection with the text.
A bell jar is a glass cover that protects and exhibits small items. The bell jar serves as an image to represent Esther’s sense of being cut off from the ordinary world outside of her mental illness. Her comparison to the bell jar indicates that at the height of her despair, she felt estranged from others since the bell jar kept her confined to her sadness. As a consequence, because she feels she can never escape her depression “wherever [she] sat,” her thoughts became warped.
The bell jar figurative language is significant because it shows how Esther feels trapped by her mental illness and how it has a profound impact on her life. Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar is a novel that uses figurative language to illustrate the mental state of its protagonist, Esther Greenwood. The bell jar is perhaps the most significant symbol in the novel as it represents Esther’s feelings of entrapment and isolation.
The bell jar is introduced early in the novel when Esther describes herself as “sitting under a glass bell”. This creates a sense of detachment from the world around her and reinforces Esther’s feeling of being cut off from society. The bell jar also appears later in the novel when Esther is hospitalized for her mental illness.
She describes the hospital room as “a bell jar…sitting on top of my head”. This again emphasizes Esther’s sense of isolation and highlights how her mental illness has a profound impact on her life. The bell jar figurative language is significant because it allows readers to understand the inner workings of Esther’s mind and how she feels trapped by her mental illness.
The metaphor of the chain and its connection to depression is used by Esther to illustrate how she feels confined by her sadness and does not believe she will recover. At the time, mental illness was not frequently talked about, so Esther had no idea how to deal with her despair. Esther’s own perspective on mental illness is affected by societal attitudes in the 1950s, which reject individualistic viewpoints for the sake of order.
The bell jar was empty. The sun had come out and was shining” (Plath, 63). This time, Esther has accepted her mental illness and is no longer fighting against it. The sun coming out symbolizes Esther’s newfound acceptance of herself.
The choice of figurative language in The Bell Jar is significant because it reveals Esther’s internal struggle with her mental illness. The bell jar metaphor communicates the extent to which Esther feels trapped by her depression. The metaphor also highlights society’s negative attitudes toward people with mental illnesses at the time. Despite these negative attitudes, Esther is able to find acceptance for herself later in the story. The use of figurative language in The Bell Jar is therefore essential for understanding Esther’s character and her journey toward self-acceptance.
Previously, she felt trapped in a bell jar, but now she feels liberated from it. She then states that she was “willing to accept the circulating air.” A bell jar protects someone or prevents them from interacting with the outside world; as a result, Esther no longer feels trapped since she is able to experience the open air. As a result of this, her feelings of being imprisoned were caused by her own feelings rather than the actions of others. The bell jar served as an instrument for defining Esther’s position throughout the novel.
The bell jar can be interpreted as a symbol for Esther’s depression and the struggles that she faces. The bell jar is also representative of the restrictions that Esther felt due to her gender and society’s expectations of her. The title of the novel, The Bell Jar, is most likely a reference to John Donne’s poem “The Canonization”. In the poem, Donne uses the image of a bell jar to describe how God has placed a protective shield around the saint. Similarly, Esther feels protected by the bell jar from the outside world.