Study Guide

The Bell Jar Chapter 7

By Sylvia Plath

Chapter 7

  • Esther meets up with Constantin for a tour of the UN. Esther is depressed by the sight of the interpreters at their work because there's nothing that she can do as well.
  • They then go out to a Greek restaurant, where Esther gets drunk on Greek wine. She decides that she wants Constantin to seduce her.
  • After Buddy's confession about sleeping with a waitress, Esther had decided to lose her virginity.
  • She remembers a boy named Eric who she thought might do. Eric had told her about how he had lost his virginity in a whorehouse, and how he felt sex was dirty and would never do it with anyone he loved. Once he wrote her a letter about how he might love her; she knew then that Eric would not be interested in having sex with her.
  • Back to Constantin. After they finish dinner, Constantin invites her back to his place to listen to balalaika music. Esther agrees.
  • Esther thinks of an article her mother sent her about how women should stay pure for their men. Esther thinks the article is hogwash because the article ignores how women actually feel.
  • At Constantin's place, they talk. Esther grows very tired, and decides to sleep on Constantin's bed. Constantin lies next to her. They both fall asleep.
  • When Esther wakes up, they are both still fully clothed. Esther tries to imagine what it would be like to be Constantin's wife. Given the other wives she knows – her mother, Mrs. Willard – it would mean the end of romance and a long life of housekeeping.
  • Constantin wakes up and drives her back to the hotel. As she lies in bed, a pain in her left shin reminds her of the time she broke her leg.

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