Study Guide

The Bell Jar Chapter 16

By Sylvia Plath

Chapter 16

  • Joan proceeds to tell Esther about how she ended up at Caplan. Joan was miserable at her job, and then read the newspaper coverage of Esther's disappearance. Joan shows Esther the clippings.
  • Inspired, Joan went to stay with a friend in New York City, and attempted to kill herself by punching her fists through her friend's apartment window.
  • Later, Esther comes out of a deep sleep yelling for the nurse. The nurse explains that Esther's had a "reaction" to the insulin therapy.
  • A while later, Esther talks with Dr. Nolan. Esther had felt better after the "reaction," but now feels the same.
  • Dr. Nolan then tells Esther she won't be having any visitors.
  • Esther then recalls that earlier that afternoon, her mother had come to visit, offering her roses for her birthday. Esther had stuffed the roses in a wastebasket, to her mother's dismay.
  • Esther tells Dr. Nolan that she hates her mother. Dr. Nolan seems pleased by this revelation.

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