The Bell Jar | Study Guide

Sylvia Plath

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Sylvia Plath

Year Published

1963 (U.K.); 1971 (U.S.)





Perspective and Narrator

In The Bell Jar, Esther, the first-person narrator, looks back on the events of the text from an older point of view. Because Esther suffers from a delusional depression, her point of view limits the reader's ability to understand the events and characters objectively.


The Bell Jar is narrated in the past tense.

About the Title

A bell jar, shaped like an upturned bell, generates a vacuum effect that keeps everything inside preserved from the exterior world. The bell jar functions as a metaphor for the narrator's feelings of captivity.


This study guide and infographic for Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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