Adolescence in the Bell Jar and Catcher in the Rye Essay

Adolescence in the Bell Jar and Catcher in the Rye Essay

Length: 6252 words (17.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Adolescence in the Bell Jar and Catcher in the Rye

Adolescence is the period between puberty and adulthood. Every
teenager experience this moment in life differently some sail through
happily to carry on with a peaceful life where as others are less
fortunate and find that this moment is much more harder and stressful
then they thought. Esther Greenwood and Holden Caulfield are one of
the less fortunate and have bad experiences through their adolescent.
Salinger and Plath present this in their novels Catcher in the Rye and
The Bell Jar. Both novelists use first person narrative giving us as
readers a more personal description about their story, involving us
more into their lives and letting us travel with them on their pathway
through adolescent. The tone, dictation and the use of grammar are
consistently those of an adolescent person and express distinctive
commentary on how they feel and what they observe everyday.

Salinger and Plath present the different elements of adolescence that
teenagers experience such as depression, grief, pressure, sexuality
etc through their characters Holden and Esther.

Throughout adolescence teenagers experience a variety of pressures
from their family, friends and even the society. Holden and Esther
both come from adequate families who brought them up well although
this can also mean living up to their expectations. Esther lives up to
different expectations than Holden. Esther’s background was less
promising than others, her mother could not provide her with a good
education it was down the Esther to work really hard at studying to
gain scholarships she places huge pressure on herself to achieve these
goals that she doesn’t know anything else “ I had been inadequate a...


... middle of paper ...


...and doesn’t bother to
help him. This mirrors with Esther’s feeling, that people are not
responding to her properly even her own mother who doesn’t believe
that the depression is a true illness but just a passing perversity or
rebellion. Even her own Doctor fails to help her by showing that he
wasn’t really listening to what Esther had to say about her illness by
repeating a question to Esther. Throughout the novel Esther is very
direct about her depression “I haven’t slept for 14 days” yet no one
chooses to listen to hear but when she tells them “ I feel better, I
don’t want to go to the doctors” her mum suddenly listens replying “ I
knew my baby wasn’t like that” Plath shows that people don’t want to
hear anything depressing or morbid unless it directly involves them
but if it doesn’t they don’t want to know they only listen to what
they want to hear.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The, The And The Bell Jar By Sylvia Plath

- ... He resists transitioning his and Jane’s relationship from friendship to a more physical and sexual relationship. Holden is unlike his male peers in the sense he wants a deep, emotional connection with women before having sexual relations with them. Holden feels the pressure of his peers to have sex because he, unlike all of his friends, is still a virgin. His virginity is also something that attributes to his feelings of alienation. Like Esther, Holden experiences an incredible amount of pressures from the conventional expectations of his time....   [tags: Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, Symbolism]

Powerful Essays
1289 words (3.7 pages)

The Bell Jar By Sylvia Plath Essay

- The Bell Jar, written by Sylvia Plath, starts of in the summer of the mid-1950s. Esther Greenwood, the main character, is a 19 year full of ambition and creativity that works at a popular magazine company. Esther mainly has two “best friends”, Betsy and Doreen. Having a pretty decent life in New York she feels as though she is missing something and that she isn’t experiencing life as some of the other ladies her age are. Esther is faced with the thought of not being what she should be. Which is, what the other women of her age are expected to be, by society’s views....   [tags: The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath]

Powerful Essays
1641 words (4.7 pages)

The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath Essay

- As one of the most renowned and well-known literary critics in the world of composition, Harold Bloom has self-importantly granted himself the privilege of specifying the reasons as to why we read. From human connection to self-actualization to the acquirement of knowledge, he adheres passionately and unquestionably that “the strongest, most authentic motive for deep reading…is the search for a difficult pleasure.” Bloom, as an experienced critic, fully recognizes the task of judging a book for its merit....   [tags: Analysis of The Bell Jar]

Powerful Essays
1303 words (3.7 pages)

Essay Role of Food in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar

- The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar is rich with an array of motifs, all which serve to sustain the novel’s primary themes. A motif particularly prevalent within the first half of the novel involves food, specifically Esther Greenwood’s relationship with food. This peculiar relationship corroborates the book’s themes of Esther’s continuous rebirthing rituals, and of her extreme dissatisfaction. The interrelation with food functions in two distinct manners: literally and figuratively. This analysis will concentrate on the figurative role of food in The Bell Jar, and how it denotes Esther’s overall state....   [tags: The Bell Jar]

Powerful Essays
594 words (1.7 pages)

Did Esther Trap Herself in "The Bell Jar"? Essay

- The Bell Jar is an autobiography of a female sophomore. The girl-Esther, who is 19 years old, came from suburban area of Boston. As she had talent writing skills, she was invited to New York to serve as guest editor in a national fashion magazine office. In her one-month stay in New York, on one hand, Esther was cautious and conscientious to learn from an able and efficient female editor-Jay Cee, and she dreamt to follow Jay Cee’s successful step. On the other hand, she met various men and women in her colorful social life....   [tags: bell jar, ]

Powerful Essays
1590 words (4.5 pages)

`` The Bell Jar ' By Silvia Plath Essay

- ... Even in a confined society, Esther escapes and gasps for air, therefore gaining knowledge about herself. Within Plath’s context, the enrichment of knowledge has resulted in these opposite concepts of life and death, where the ability to reborn into something new and different comes after the death of everything you hate about yourself. The line ‘her heart beats, I am I am I am’ shows the significant transformation and the result of a self-discovery as the beating heart symbolizes the bodily desire for life and hope....   [tags: The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath, The Tempest, Metaphor]

Powerful Essays
1200 words (3.4 pages)

The Bell Jar By Sylvia Plath Essay

- ... At one point at the end of story Esther is doing her daily routine and is making herself food when her thoughts start to wonder into a downwards spiral of horrible images. Esther then came to this shockingly grotesque image, “I tried to think what I had loved knives for, but my mind slipped again from the noose of the thought and swung, like a bird, in the center of empty air,” (Plath 216). Sylvia Plath chose this irony to prove that everything seen through the eyes of Esther is based on her mental illness....   [tags: The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath, Roman à clef]

Powerful Essays
1229 words (3.5 pages)

Identity in Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar Essay

- Identity in The Bell Jar         A sense of individuality is essential for surviving the numerous emotional and physical obstacles encountered in daily life. A unique identity is perhaps one of the only true characteristics that defines an individual and is definitely a key principle for understanding and responding to one's atmosphere. In the "Bell Jar," Esther battles not only a deteriorating mental stability, but also a lack of a sense of individuality. Esther is a young, sensitive and intelligent woman who feels oppressed by the obvious social restrictions placed upon women, and the pressure she feels regarding her future....   [tags: Plath Bell Jar Essays]

Powerful Essays
1633 words (4.7 pages)

Essay on Plath's The Bell Jar -The Liberated Woman

- Plath's The Bell Jar -The Liberated Woman      I tried to imagine what it would be like if Constantin were my husband.   It would mean getting up at seven and cooking him eggs and bacon and toast and coffee and dawdling about in my nightgown and curlers after he'd left for work to wash up the dirty plates and make the bed, and then when he came home after a lively, fascinating day he'd expect a big dinner, and I'd spend the evening washing up even more dirty plates till I fell into bed, utterly exhausted....   [tags: Plath Bell Jar Essays]

Powerful Essays
1630 words (4.7 pages)

Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar Essay

- Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar Depression and suicide are commonly discussed in today’s society; however, in the 1950s, incidents such as suicidal feelings were not mentioned due to being deemed too risqué. Sylvia Plath is well-known for her poetry, yet her prose is equally as noteworthy. According to Frances McCullough, The Bell Jar is a “pre-drugs, pre-Pill, pre-Women’s Studies” (Plath xiii) novel, which focuses on weighty issues which were not typically discussed during the time period. The semiautobiographical novel deals with depression and suicide, as well as a search for one’s identity, feminism, and rebirth....   [tags: Sylvia Plath Bell Jar Essays Depression]

Powerful Essays
1377 words (3.9 pages)