The Bell Jar Questions and Answers

The Bell Jar is a profound novel where everyone can find something relatable. You may (and should better) have never had depression, but you are (or have been) young and fought with life’s controversies. In any case, the novel would never leave you indifferent.

What is The Bell Jar about? What genre is the book? If you’re looking for The Bell Jar questions and answers, you’re in the right place! experts have selected the most frequent questions about Sylvia Plath, her novel, its genre, themes, and setting. They offer you a targeted study of the narrow issues that could remain unclear after the first reading of the text. We hope you will find our answers engaging and comprehensive.

  1. What is The Bell Jar? 
    The Bell Jar is a psychological novel by Sylvia Plath in the genre of Coming-of-age fiction. The author used her biography as a source for the plot. Unfortunately, she committed suicide just a month after the publication, and the book was banned for some time. Nevertheless, it offers a true-to-life description of the development of a mental illness. 
  2. What is The Bell Jar about?
    The Bell Jar describes a story of a 19-year-old girl who went to New York for an internship at a magazine. This experience could have inspired her but results in a severe depressive episode. She survives several suicide attempts. However, by the end of the book, the protagonist’s condition improves. 
  3. When was The Bell Jar written? 
    Sylvia Plath’s husband revealed most facts about the creation of The Bell Jar after her death. The novel was ready in 1961, eight years after the events described in it took place. Before Plath sat to write The Bell Jar, she had gone through a long-lasting writer’s block. It took her 70 days to complete the draft version. 
  4. Who wrote The Bell Jar? 
    Sylvia Plath wrote The Bell Jar in 1861. It was her only published novel. She was an American poet most famous for her collections Ariel and The Colossus. She committed suicide in 1863, a month after the publication of her novel. Plath was the first person who won Pulitzer Prize posthumously. 
  5. When does The Bell Jar take place?
    The Bell Jar narrates the events that took place in reality in the summer of 1953, adding some fictional details. The autobiographic novel mentions the Rosenbergs’ execution that happened in New York in the same year. Besides, the protagonist’s health history reflects the author’s experience of the same year. 
  6. What genre is The Bell Jar? 
    The Bell Jar is most often classified as Coming-of-age fiction. But it is also an autobiographic novel with fictional elements. The writing contains extensive passages of self-analysis of the main character. For this reason, The Bell Jar is also a novel in the genre of psychological realism. 
  7. What is a bell jar a metaphor of?
    A bell jar is a metaphor for loneliness in a mental illness. The protagonist lives in a vicious circle of her thoughts and anxieties. To achieve improvement, she needs to lift the bell jar. However, Esther needs medical help to do that. At the end of the book, the bell jar gets slightly raised, but the girl still feels it over her head like the sword of Damocles, waiting to fall at any moment. 
  8. What is the theme of The Bell Jar?
    The novel by Sylvia Plath cannot be limited to only one central theme. Feminism, social pressure, gender inequality, sanity and mental diseases, mother-and-daughter relationships, body vs. mind, and personal ambitions are some of the controversial issues raised in the book. Still, the themes of gender inequality, depression, and body vs. mentality got the most comprehensive coverage in the book. 
  9. Why was The Bell Jar banned?
    The Bell Jar was banned for many reasons, including its blasphemous words and discourse on the topics of suicide and sexual life. But the most critical reason for such rejection was that the book undermined the traditional ideals of a woman’s role as a mother and wife. 
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