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.
As far as it is autobiographical fiction, the general atmosphere and some historical events are depicted in the genre of psychological realism. The execution of Rosenbergs was a notorious affair that took place in New York in 1953. The readers will not find any detailed historical facts. Still, the author suggests that we look at them through the eyes of the protagonist, who suffers from depression growing into madness.
The Bell Jar appeared in print in January 1963. Sylvia Plath did not receive as much attention to her novel as she expected. Some literary reviews were positive, but for the most part, they were indifferent. The book advanced its time, and people were unprepared to face the bold and straightforward truth of double standards imposed by patriarchy.
The Bell Jar was first published under Sylvia Plath’s name in England (1966). But in the US, it was not printed till 1971. Plath’s mother was afraid some people could recognize her in the book. Furthermore, she perceived the novel as her daughter’s ingratitude to the family. Plath’s husband decided to finally publish The Bell Jar in the United States when he lacked money for buying a country house.