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The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar

by Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar Chapter 4 Summary

  • At the banquet, Esther dips her fingers in a finger bowl and remembers the first time she saw a finger bowl. It was at the house of Philomena Guinea, the woman funding her college scholarship. Instead of washing her fingers, Esther had slurped down the water in the bowl.
  • At the end of the banquet, Esther goes with Betsy and the other interns to a movie. But in the middle of the movie, Esther starts to feel horribly sick. So does Betsy.
  • They creep out of the theater and climb into a taxi, where both of them take turns discreetly puking on the cab's floor.
  • They arrive at the hotel, where they both rush into separate bathrooms and vomit some more. Esther passes out in the bathroom.
  • When Esther comes to, a doctor and a nurse are attending her. All the interns are as sick as she is. The nurse helps her back into her room, where Esther passes out again.
  • When Esther wakes up, Doreen is on hand with a cup of soup. Doreen tells Esther that the Ladies' Day banquet had served up some bad crab meat. Ugh. Doreen is fine, of course, because she ditched the banquet to spend the day with Lenny.
  • As a condolence, Ladies' Day sent all the interns copies of The Thirty Best Short Stories of the Year.

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