“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart….
The Bell Jar, as I had explained on Instagram, is a book gifted to me by one of my dearest friends. My first book with a handwritten note and also, the first modern classic I’ve ever read.
Finally, after 6 weeks, with the pressure of an impulsive (but necessary) book purchase, I completed what I felt was the lightest (in pages); heaviest book I’ve read in a good while… I realize the reason my friend bought this book for me and throughout I felt our conversations, history and current challenges woven through each page.
The Bell Jar isn’t a story of blatant triumph… it’s not about obnoxious strength and happy endings. Rather, it is a story of daily struggles, decisions to live and not die; and a silent but clear message of hopefulness amongst the dullness.
Living below “The Bell Jar”, is a phrase which is mentioned throughout the book and is a metaphor for the context in which the main character lives. Having been placed in multiple asylums for majority of her time as a young adult, her life and the freedom attached to it had begun to mould itself into the confines of the asylum which could be imagined to be a Bell Jar as she, and many other patients would be contained in this space and constantly observed and visited in its confines, as if they were caged animals; only being able to “escape” under exceptional circumstances. I believe The Bell Jar can also represent depression and the feeling it brings as the cloud which hovers over you-preventing you from being.
I can best describe my experience reading The Bell Jar as a moment with the softest, fluffiest pillow for the most worn-out spirit. Its that hot chocolate in the coldest winter. It’s a hug in a book and a very necessary companion for any woman in their 20’s trying to adult.