Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Bell Jar: A Novel, by Sylvia Plath

Read, reviewed and released in May-June, 2009

I just finished reading this book last night. It was quite a trip! It's considered a work of fiction, but apparently is almost autobiographical. The main character, Esther Greenwood, suffered from mental illness and tried to kill herself several times in several different ways. Sylvia Plath suffered from mental illness, and killed herself in 1963. Esther's life paralleled Sylvia's in many details, including college, a month working as a sort of intern on a fashion magazine, hospitalization, and being subjected to electrical shock treatments.

When I was in college, in the late 1960s, I had a friend who suffered a "nervous breakdown" as it was called then, left school, was hospitalized and underwent electrical shock treatments. Those years in college are completely erased from her memory, even now.

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