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The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar

by Sylvia Plath

Identity Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

I felt myself shrinking to a small black dot [...] I felt like a hole in the ground [...] (2.21)

The fact that Doreen and Lenny act as if Esther doesn't exist leads Esther to feel that she literally doesn't exist.

Quote #5

It's like watching Paris from an express caboose heading in the opposite direction – every second the city gets smaller and smaller, only you feel it's really you getting smaller and smaller and lonelier and lonelier [...] (2.23)

This passage emphasizes the way that Esther feels invisible in the eyes of society. She sees herself not through her own eyes, but from the perspective of others, in this case Paris.

Quote #6

"Elly, Elly, Elly," the first voice mumbled, while the other voice went on hissing, "Miss Greenwood, Miss Greenwood, Miss Greenwood," as if I had a split personality or something. (2.52)

Esther often uses aliases or pseudonyms in the novel in social situations; it gives her a certain freedom to pretend to be someone else. This feeling of having a "split personality" gets much more serious later in the novel as her depression worsens, and she loses all sense of who she really is.

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