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Plath Essay

  • Submitted by: Midge1
  • on November 18, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 280 words

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Below is an essay on "Plath" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Sheena Boyle
Short Essay
Young Adult Literature
Professor Abbye Meyer
Due: 11/18/2010

Sylvia’s Plath “The Bell Jar” is a riveting piece that captures her early life through the character Esther Greenwood. Throughout the text, one constantly notes Esther’s obstinance to conform to the role society’s given her. She can’t seem to fit into the puzzle of “the good girl.” However, there is a character that does: Joan. Joan embodies all that society proscribes her to be and to think. We are then naturally apt then to assign her the identity of Esther’s alter self; the self that Ester never wants to be. Esther herself says, “Joan was   the beaming double of my old self specially designed to follow and torment me.” This identity fits Joan without a doubt. However, I do not believe Joan solely exist in this text to be at odds with Esther’s character. This is not her only identity. Joan is far more complex. She is the character that Buddy, “The good boy,” dumps. She is the character that Ester feels sorry for, not the other way around. She is the character that successfully kills herself at the end of the novel. Joan is far more than an alter ego but a figure of social commentary on the world which she accepts and abides by, though that world oppresses her. Joan’s character performs to be social commentary on how how by consenting to the roles of the society in the fifties-sixities one is built up to an identity and eventually defeated by it. Plath establishes Joan to be the iconic image of “Good girl” by making her the   mirror image of Mrs Willard. j

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