The first sentence of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar alerts the reader to the conflicts that will be dealt with in this semi-autobiographical novel: "It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York." The speaker will tell us in the next few sentences that she is "stupid" and that she feels "sick," and that she is preoccupied with death. Like Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye, this young, college age, girl-woman is experiencing an adolescent crisis. Summer is usually thought of as being a happy, fun time for students. It is a time of vacation from studies, a time to travel and relax, have fun with friends. Sometimes students work, but even that is a short-term commitment, and thus more relaxed. The speaker of The Bell Jar has gone to New York City for a month, and she will relate her varied "fun" experiences to us, but she is not happy. She
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2011 for the course ENG 1320 taught by Professor Bost during the Fall '09 term at Texas State.