Study Guide

Irwin in The Bell Jar


Irwin, a mathematics professor Esther meets at Harvard's Widener Library, is the not-so-lucky man that Esther loses her virginity to. Esther seems to find him an acceptable sexual partner not out of any real physical attractiveness, but because of his apparent intelligence. She chooses to have sex with him to assert her sexual freedom, but this backfires as she gets a dangerous hemorrhage and has to be taken to the emergency room.