The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath, Struggles Between Buddy, Doreen, And Within Herself.

1247 words - 5 pages

In The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath writes about Esther Greenwood, a young woman at a womens college. Esther lived a sheltered life. Her father died while she was still young and her mother tried to protect her as much as possible. Esther went off to the womens college in New York City to lead a new life. There she met Doreen, the wild girl, who drank, smoked cigarettes, slept with different men every night, and danced and acted wild. Doreen is the Southern blonde sex kitten who always knows how to get her man;(Perloff ,CLC Vol. 62 p.392). Doreen was the girl who Esther wanted to be deep inside, yet she could not because she had to be a good girl. Betsy, who is the college good girl, is also a friend of Esthers. She is the girl who is straight from Kansas with her bouncing blonde pony-tail and Sweetheart-of-Sigma-Chi(Plath 6). Old friends, like Buddy Willard visited her at college and unfortunately ended up driving Esther to the point of craziness. Esther Greenwood faces many struggles such as those with Buddy Willard, Doreen, and herself.Esther had some struggles with Buddy Willard, an old friend of hers from back home. Buddy had been involved with women intimately before Esther and she did not like that. Big disillusionment with Buddy comes when she finds out that he is not a virgin (she is), an instance revealing her competitiveness and the determination to have as much as men have(Allen ,CLC Vol.62 p.397).Buddy Willard showed up in New York, basically out of nowhere and wanted Esther to be with him. Esther teased Buddy a bit and even said "Of course somebody had seduced Buddy, Buddy hadn't started it and it wasn't really his fault( Plath 57). She had started the flirting with Buddy, Buddy did not initiate it. Another problem was that Buddy was not a fan of her poetry and they fought about it.When for one example Buddy disparages literary aspirations with a profound remark that poem is really only a piece of dust, Esther masks her outrages and replies humbly, I guess so. And the more the false self responds in this contrived and artificial way, the more Esthers inner self nurtures a hatred for Buddy(Perloff ,CLC Vol.62 p.391). Buddy was one of the reasons that Esther ended up in the mental institution and then Buddy comes to visit her wondering if he drove both Esther crazy.Throughout the novel Esther is faced with numerous possibilities regarding her future aspirations. Although she is an extremely perceptive and bright woman, Esther has no sense of imminent direction, and instead imagines herself becoming and achieving an abundance of successes simultaneously. Upon meeting her boss, Jay Cee, Esther is immediately impressed with her flourishing balance of a career and marriage, and begins to imagine herself attaining similar achievements:I tried to imagine what it would be like if I were CeeCee, the famous editor, in an office full of potted rubber plants and African violets my secretary had to water each morning (Plath36).Esther idolizes Jay Cee...

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