This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Circumstances That Exacerbated Esther's Mental Illness

1344 words - 6 pages

Sylvia Plath is the author of the Bell Jar and was an American poet, novelist, and short-story writer (JRSM. June, 2003). The Bell Jar book was published in London a month before Plath’s death in January, 1963. The book was first published under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas, and then later published in Plath’s own name. Esther Greenwood is the main character in the Bell Jar. Esther suffered from mental illness and struggled against depressive environment and continuously aggravated madness that led to her suicide and death (JRSM. June, 2003). I ague that Esther’s mental illness was aggravated by her internal pressure and depressive environment in which she lived.
The first internal pressure that factored in triggering Esther’s madness is the death of her father and the hate for her mother. Esther lost her father when she was 8 years old and she was raised by her mother. According to the book, Esther never came to term with her father’s death and continued to be grieved. Therefore, Esther was affected mentally with her lost as seen in her poetry “Daddy”, “I used to pray to recover you”. She kept longing for a male figure who could replace her father. Also, poor relationship between Esther and her mother added to triggering her madness. Esther hated her mother and requested not to visit with her when hospitalized with mental illness. Furthermore, she complained about her mother questioning the progress of her illness. For example, “she never scolded me, but kept begging me, with a sorrowful face, to tell her what she had done wrong” (Plath, p.202). However, Mrs. Greenwood loved Esther even though she was aware of her request not to visit. Esther showed mental instability when Mrs. Greenwood delivered roses for her birthday. Consequently, Esther rejected the roses and told her mother to save them for her funeral. Esther later dumped the roses in the waste basket (Plath, p.203). Esther had no remorse for her behavior toward her mother, for example, when she stated, “My mother’s face puckered, and she looked ready to cry” (Plath, p.202). Esther mental status prohibited her from taking responsibility for her behavior and being considerate of the consequences on her mother. This shows that Increased anxiety resulting from questioning her about her illness. Therefore, Esther’s behavior is due to inability to handle excessive pressure. stress. For example, I personally had a similar encounter with my son who was not appreciative of my effort to go and visit him in Arizona in college during his 21st birth day. He was angry because I had not informed him. As a result, he attempted to reject the gifts I had taken for him. It was the week of final exams, he was busy and stressed.
Another factor that contributed to Esther’s increased anxiety was pressure to succeed. Esther was living in a culture that contradicted with what she considered as success. In the 1950s women had limited career options although a gifted girl such as Esther could be...

Find Another Essay On Circumstances that Exacerbated Esther's Mental Illness

The Self-Medication Hypothesis Essay

2317 words - 9 pages would support this rationale.One of the theorists is Khantzian (1985). His theory of self-medication believes that individuals with a mental illness use substances to relieve the symptoms of the illness or to counteract the unwanted side effects of antipsychotic medications, but in reality and from experience we know that substance abuse generally leads to a deterioration of the condition with symptoms exacerbated and poorer long-term prognosis

Mental Illness Essay

2259 words - 10 pages live in a normal community. However, many critics argue that this movement “exacerbated long-term problems associated with inadequate care for people with mental illness” (Kendell 2014). The sociologist Erving Goffman referred to mental hospitals as a form of total institutions, which mean that they are an institution where people are isolated from the community and outside society under the regulation of the hospital’s employees. It is still an

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

1594 words - 6 pages different situations throughout the novel. As a result of this, she allows herself to be easily let down, as she believes that all events that are unsatisfactory are directed towards her. Finally, it is clear that she attempts to escape this notion by imagining an idyllic yet impossible life that she envisions in remote circumstances. It is clear that Plath's creation is a Novel of Sensibility as her writing not only possesses all of the

Quest for Self-Identity in Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing and The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath

2178 words - 9 pages in forming the Canadian literary canon and Atwood’s novel Surfacing was published in 1972. But The Bell Jar is American writer and poet Sylvia Plath's only novel, which was originally published under the pseudonym "Victoria Lucas" in 1963. The novel is semi-autobiographical with the names of places and people changed. The book is often regarded as a roman à clef, with the protagonist's descent into mental illness paralleling Plath's own

Mental Illness

1147 words - 5 pages Mental Illness Mental illness is an issue that hits extremely close to home. Both of my uncles on my fathers side developed schizophrenia in their 20’s. One of them, upon being diagnosed, committed suicide. This happened before I was born, but the fall-out is still visible in my family. The other now lives in a home for those with mental illness. He is on medication, which helps with many of the symptoms, and has been an important pillar in

Is There a Relationship Betwen Mental Health and Homeless?

2393 words - 10 pages achieve residential stability if they have access to supported housing programs (National Mental Health Association, 2006). In the Health Care sector, research on the homeless and the mentally ill has proven that, there is a strong relationship between homelessness and mental health. To Whitbeck (2012), mental illness often leads to and prolongs homelessness and tends to be exacerbated by the experience. Among surveyed homeless people in the United

Identity: As Determined By Others

651 words - 3 pages "We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere." – Tim McGraw. In the novel, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, there are multiple characters that influence who Esther Greenwood, the protagonist, becomes. The two characters who have the greatest impact on her development are Jay Cee and Joan. Jay Cee is Esther's boss and a controversial character. To Doreen and others, she is "ugly as sin

Living independently for people with mental illness in Australia

1953 words - 8 pages associated with better adaptive behavior (Kozma, Mansell, & Beadle-Brown, 2009). While, it leads to a problem that how could people with severe mental illness survive and make living by themselves independently. Those who try to transit from living with their families to living independently face lots of challenges, such as worries of family about safety and survival issues, the difficulties of securing flexible supports, and how they confident about

What is Mental Illness?

2087 words - 8 pages , psychological, and emotional disorders that effect the mind. Mental illness is not something that should be avoided. There many different types of mental illnesses. There are also mental healthcare services that can help people with their mental illnesses. Mental illness can be a mixture of different factors. You can get mental illness through genetics meaning that it is passed down within the family. That can only happen if the mental illness is

Homeless Problem: Stop the Insanity

1566 words - 6 pages (LIHI) has converted some of the barracks into transitional housing. In 2003 when I was a volunteer with LIHI 95% of the people who lived there had mental disorders and were on medication to treat these disorders. (7) Unfortunately medication was not always monitored and often the residents ran out and were lax about getting more. The staff was reluctant to accept that behavioral problems could be caused by mental illness which had exacerbated

Mental Illnesses and How Everyone is Affected

1493 words - 6 pages are not provided with the care that they deserve. Their education is compromised which prevents them from successfully pursuing a career and building a future. The few patients who have received a degree are less likely to have a job. “Five to six million U.S. workers aged sixteen to fifty four fail to seek employment due to mental illness” (Introduction to Global Mental Health: Effects of Mental Health on individuals and Populations- Unite for

Similar Essays

The Yellow Wallpaper: The Story That Changed How Women And Mental Illness Were Veiwed

2391 words - 10 pages other role than to be a wife and a mother, she represents the secondary status of women during the 19th century,” (Wilson 5). John, the narrator’s controlling, but loving, husband represents the atypical man of the time. He wants his wife to get better and to be able to fill the role of the perfect wife that society expected from her. John, being a doctor, did not quite believe that her mental illness was out of her control and insisted on

Identity In Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar

1673 words - 7 pages Identity in The Bell Jar         A sense of individuality is essential for surviving the numerous emotional and physical obstacles encountered in daily life. A unique identity is perhaps one of the only true characteristics that defines an individual and is definitely a key principle for understanding and responding to one's atmosphere. In the "Bell Jar," Esther battles not only a deteriorating mental stability, but also a lack of a sense

Identity In The Bell Jar Essay

1492 words - 6 pages Identity in the Bell JarA sense of individuality is essential for surviving the numerous emotional and physical obstacles encountered in daily life. A unique identity is perhaps one of the only true characteristics that defines an individual and is definitely a key principle for understanding and responding to one's atmosphere. In the "Bell Jar", Esther battles not only a deteriorating mental stability, but also a lack of sense of individuality

The Bell Jar Essay

1326 words - 5 pages relationships between others and herself. Through life, we often lose someone we loved and cared deeply for and supported us through life. This is demonstrated by the loss of a loved one when Esther's father died when she was nine. "My German speaking father, dead since I was nine came from some manic-depressive hamlet in the Prussia." (Sylvia Plath page 27.) Esther's father's death had showed that she was in need of a father figure for love