"The Bell Jar"

What hopes and dreams does New York represent in popular culture? Can you brainstorm some iconic examples? How do you see/know about New York (especially those who haven't been there) and where do you get these ideas and impressions from?

Analyse Plath's depiction of Esther's experiences in New York, focusing on the gap between what Esther is 'supposed' to be feeling and how she actually feels. Look, in particular, at the images of superficiality in Plath's description of New York and the people Esther meets there.

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