There are several recurring images in the novel, such as the bell jar, mirrors, the dead baby, and the fig tree. Select one of these images and trace its occurrence from the beginning of the novel to the end, describing how its meaning evolves 


A novel may have many characters and objects and each of them has different significances. However, the significance of the charterers and the objects described in a novel do not remain same. Rather such significances may change as the plot advances. In the novel, the Bell Jar also, the author used several objects for creating the story (Sabbagh & Bozorgian, 2015). In case of this novel also, the objects are used multiple times and the meaning of such objects have been changed with the situation. The objects like the mirrors, the fig tree and the dead body are used multiple times. The meanings of such objects also changed with the plot. In other words, the author has used the objects to reflect different thoughts. Mirror is one of the objects that have been used in the novel many times and each time it provided the reader with different messages. In this essay, the use of mirror in ‘The Bell Jar’ is analyzed. The different significances of the mirror in the novel are also assessed in this essay.

The authors can use different objects for delivering specific messages to the readers. The objects used in a novel may help the author to portray different traits within the characters (Hatfield, 2017). In the current novel, ‘The Bell Jar’, mirror is used to reflect the characteristics and the conflicts within Esther, one of the main characters in the novel. Esther suffers from several psychological problems and the mirror reflected the psychological conflicts within the character.

Mirrors symbolize personality and Esther's appearance in and connection to mirrors all through the novel Esther's endure to psychological sickness and powerlessness to perceive herself. The conservative mirror in Jay Cee's office and the mirror a medical caretaker hands her at the city healing facility shows Esther's slipping handle without anyone else personality, which is seriously misshaped or inclined by her self-destructive discouragement (Plath et al., 2008). At the highest of her desolation, Esther realized that improving suicide is easy, thinking in the event that she viewed the impression of herself slitting her wrists in a mirror (as opposed to taking a gander at her real wrists), she would have the capacity to proceed with the undertaking. In the meantime, the depiction or portrayal of a mirror as "a silver opening" recommends that, to some degree, all pictures of character are false, more a lump by the watcher than a disclosure of vital truth.

Esther repeatedly a reflection of herself, reflections she often fails to recognize. After her evening with Dorean and Lenny, Esther fails to recognize her own reflection in the elevator doors. After her first shock treatment with Dr. Nolan, she thinks her reflection is another woman in the room (Perloff et al., 1972). Most dramatically, after her suicide attempt, Esther fails to recognize her bruised and discolored face in a mirror, and cannot even tell if the creature she sees is a man or a woman.

Esther increasingly struggles to keep the outward self she presents to the world united with the inner self that she experiences. Her failure to recognize her own reflection stands for the difficulty she has understanding herself.

The discussion indicates that mirror is mainly used in this novel to show the thoughts and problems faced by Esther. In the first appearance, the mirror showed the lack of power and self-destructive nature of Esther. In the next phase, the mirror reflected miserable mental condition of Esther. Overall, it can be concluded that the mirror showed different mental stages of Esther.

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Hatfield, E. F. (2017). Book Review: Sylvia Plath and the Language of Affective States: Written Discourse and the Experience of Depression by Demjen, Z.
Perloff, M. G., & Plath, S. (1972). " A Ritual for Being Born Twice": Sylvia Plath's' The Bell Jar'. Contemporary Literature, 13(4), 507-522.
Plath, S. (2008). The bell jar. Faber & Faber.
Sabbagh, M. R. G., & Bozorgian, F. (2015). The bell jar: A study in characterization, figure, and ground. In 2nd Conference on Interdisciplinary Approaches to Language Teaching, Literature and Translation Studies (pp. 113-122). 

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