So Esther leaves the mental institution

So Esther leaves the mental institution - So Esther leaves...

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Unformatted text preview: So Esther leaves the mental institution, we assume, although we are never told that for certain. And certainly we never know if she was able to completely leave her bell jar. In fact, the room which she has just stepped into may be only another bell jar. The novel does not end with Esther's stepping into clear, clean air. Nor do we see her emerging with a new set of values for herself. Dr. Nolan has just guided her into another room. When Esther steps into "the room" for her interview, hoping to be released from the mental hospital, the reader is reminded of Virginia Woolf's idea of "a room of one's own." It is odd that Esther has been studying James Joyce's works, but that Virginia Woolf's novels are never mentioned. Of all the women who might have helped Esther, Woolf is one whom we think of first. Woolf understood all that Esther is faced with, and she wrote brilliantly on so many aspects of being female in modern society,...
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