Discuss the meaning behind the novel's title The Bell Jar (Mental…
Discuss the meaning behind the novel's title The Bell Jar
Mental illness — depression?
It hangs above our heads, Esther's head, and we don't know when it's gonna fall on top of us again (I forgot the exact quote for it)
A kind of enclosure; being trapped
"Stewing in the sour air of my bell jar"
No escape from depression?
Looking out through the curved surface of the glass bell jar
A distorted worldview of a mentally ill/unstable person
"It wasn't the silence of silence. It was my own silence."
Maybe it's silent inside the bell jar because there isn't anyone in it but you
Esther was trapped in her own bell jar, alone
There wasn't anyone sharing the same experience as Esther was, and even if there might be, Esther didn't feel a particular sense of affiliation with any character in the book. Not really.
She wasn't thinking of anybody in particular when she was trying to kill herself, not even her own mother
Joan might be going through something similar but Esther didn't think she was relatable; it was Joan who got sent into the asylum after reading the news article about Esther's suicide attempt, so if there's a feeling of connection between them it's only one-way
She was alone with her unconventional thoughts and aspirations as a woman
Restrictions on women's roles & stereotypes
For details please refer to my other mind map
Conflicting roles between career & marriage
Esther's internal struggle