Study Guide

The Bell Jar Chapter 8

By Sylvia Plath

Chapter 8

  • Flashback to Christmas. Mr. Willard drops Esther off at the sanatorium to visit Buddy.
  • Buddy shows Esther his room, and then asks her if she would "like to be Mrs. Buddy Willard" (8.63). Esther rejects his proposal because she doesn't want to get married. Ever.
  • But Buddy is not discouraged.
  • Buddy then decides to teach Esther to ski, although he doesn't know how to ski himself. After a few practice runs, Esther goes to the top of a slope. Buddy encourages her to ski down.
  • Esther looks down, and thinks that she might kill herself.
  • She shoots straight down the slope, thinking, "This is what it is to be happy" (8.122).
  • The next thing she knows, she's coming to and Buddy's taking her shoes and socks off. She's broken her leg in two places.

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