Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Bell Jar: The Woman Who lived in The Wrong Time in The Wrong Place

New cover from Faber and Faber
The Bell Jar was a course text in an English course I did in a semester. In the story, there is an academically well-performed college girl Esther Greenwood who wins a writing competition and can go to New York to continue her study. It is then she starts to struggles between the convention and revolution. She slowly turns herself into a mentally ill woman and later she is sent into mental hospital to have an electric shock therapy. The story itself is horrible enough, but still, it cannot be compared to the fact that its author, Sylvia Plath, who committed suicide a month after its first publication in UK. While her death did bring more readers who read her book, there were even more who felt sorry for her death...

The Story is So Real
I think I can relate to Esther to a certain extent is because she is an English Major, but that extent stops just right there. Right from the first page I thought her English floated like a river. Also, I felt close to the author, as if she was talking to me while I was ready to unveil her story. To me, it was raw and honest. I did not know for sure if it is because it was due to the awfully wide deviation resulted from the previous book I had read (though I'm not going to divulge information of that book here).

Also, It is Horrible...
Anything about character's mental state I am all for it. I am interested in things that make a character feel. Towards the middle of the story, it really got on my nerves when I knew a smart young woman, with a bright prospect, would turn herself into a delusional person...The process was the most painful part. It was horrifying to see her go through the whole process.

The feelings induced by "bell jar" were no less suffocating than reading the book. The protagonist Esther is living in the bell jar, and she can hardly breathe, she does not feel like herself...From this I understand why I like the Chinese translation of the book title more. ,《瓶中美人》is not a direct translation of its English counterpart, i.e. The Bell Jar, instead, it is "The Beauty Inside The Bell Jar/Bottle", which I think is more inclusive though it might not create a stirring imagery as "The Bell Jar" may.

Film Adaptation in Development (for a long while now)
I think it was two years ago, which was 2011, that I got the news that The Bell Jar was going to be shot into a movie, which was posted on Annnnnnnnnnnd, 2 years later, it is still categorized as in development. I scrolled to the message boards and read some comments, some users said that the movie was hard to get funded because it was a story about a woman, not a man...

How frustrating it will be to see this potentially great film go to waste?

I seriously hope that soon the filming can start...because someone (me) wants to freaking see the movie!!!

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