THE BELL JAR
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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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).