The Bell Jar

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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Examine the various reasons for Esther's suicide attempts in The bell Jar.

One of the main reasons why Esther tried to commit suicide was the way she perceived her mother's actions, and the fact that she hates her mother: '"I hate her", I said, and waited for the blow to fall.' she obviously believes that hating her mother is wrong, as she expected the doctor to react negatively to her comment.

Throughout the novel, her mother has contributed to Esther's problems. From Esther's point of view, consequences of her mother's actions have lead to further problems for her. It was her mother who denied Esther the right to go to her father's funeral: 'My mother hadn't let us come to his funeral because we were only children then, and he had died in hospital, so the graveyard and even his death seemed unreal to me.' The fact that Esther couldn't really accept her father's death contributed to career problems: she had no idea of what to do with her life, she 'thought that if my father hadn't died he would have taught me....'

Before visiting New York and getting thrown into the real world Esther had been very successful academically: 'I had already taken a course in botany and done very well. I never answered one test question wrong all year.' Because of her perfectionist attitude, Esther was surprised to hear herself say that she didn't know what her career plans were: 'Usually I had these plans on the tip of my tongue.

"I don't really know", I heard myself say. I felt a deep shock, hearing myself say that, because the minute I said it, I knew it was true.' She claims that she has 'always wanted to learn German' although 'the very sight of those...