A high-achieving nineteen year old spends a summer in New York working as a journalist on a magazine. One of several young women selected as fashion interns, Esther Greenwood is taken to parties, galleries and theatres, given clothes and gifts and is expected to appear in photo shoots and at luncheons. Esther's experiences with men, alcohol and a bout of food poisoning exacerbate her inner conflicts about the possibilities and limitations for educated women in the 1950's.
On her return from New York, failure to secure a place on a writing course triggers a descent into mental illness and harrowing 1950's treatment for depression including electric shock treatment. One doesn't usually associate Sylvia Plath with humour but I liked Esther's dark sarcasm:
The movie was very poor. It starred a nice blonde girl who looked like June Allyson but was really somebody else, and a sexy black-haired girl who looked like Elizabeth Taylor but was also somebody else, and two big, broad-shouldered bone-heads with names like Rick and Gil. The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath.The Bell Jar is a great modern classic. Yes, it's dark but sometimes we need to read about life as it is. What do you think?