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The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar


by Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar Transformation Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

[L]ater, when I was all right again, I brought [the gifts] out, and I still have them around the house [...] last week I cut the plastic starfish off the sunglasses case for the baby to play with. (1.13)

This passage is the only glimpse we have of Esther, the narrator, after all of the events described in the novel. It suggests that she was able to get to the point where she could have a writing life (the book) and a baby at the same time.

Quote #2

I liked looking on at other people in crucial situations [...] I certainly learned a lot of things I never would have learned otherwise this way, and even when they surprised me or made me sick I never let on, but pretended that's the way I knew things were all the time. (1.97-98)

This passage suggests that crisis situations, such as Esther's attempted suicide, are the most revealing of a person's true nature.

Quote #3

The longer I lay there in the clear hot water the purer I felt, and when I stepped out at last and wrapped myself in one of the big, soft white hotel bath towels I felt pure and sweet as a new baby. (2.49)

This passage is one of many where Esther expresses her desire to feel "pure," newborn, without all of the baggage of her life.

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