The Bell Jar
I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story.
From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked [...] I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. (7.20-21)
A small answering point in my body flew toward it. I felt my lungs inflate with the inrush of scenery – air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, "This is what it is to be happy."
I plummed down past the zigzaggers, the students, the experts, through year after year of doubleness and smiles and compromise, into my own past. (7.121-122)
I made out men and women, and boys and girls who must be as young as I, but there was a uniformity to their faces, as if they had lain for a long time on a shelf, out of the sunlight, under siftings of pale, fine dust. (12.9)