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Word Count: 697
Sylvia Plaths novel The Bell Jar is often considered a literary classic for its description of the protagonists angst ridden journey through depression In the autobiographical novel Esther Greenwood Plaths protagonist sinks into a profound depression after her third year at college during the 1950s Esther battles not only a deteriorating mental stability but also a lack of a sense of individuality which leads to her major depressive disorder Esther is a sensitive and intelligent woman who feels oppressed by the obvious social restrictions placed upon her along with the pressure she feels regarding her future Esther feels overwhelmed and powerless to break free of the emotional burdens of her inner world of alienation and depression Her story of the overcoming of depression leads the reader through a story of dependency self-criticism and inefficacy all to become healthy once againThe novel begins in New York City during the summer after Esther Greenwoods third year at college Esther spends the month of June interning at a ladies fashion magazine in Manhattan after winning a scholarship for her writing During her time as an intern she becomes uninterested in the work despite her initial expectations and increasingly unsure of her own prospects Esther shows the beginning signs of depression with self-doubt along with paranoia when faced with the possibilities of career and success as a writer Essentially an outcast among the other 12 girls who won scholarships Esthers numerous attempts at social conformity fail as her image of herself is incomplete and contradictory When returning home to the suburbs of Boston her mother tells her she did not make a writing course she applied to a devastating blow to Esther also grows disenchanted with her boyfriend Buddy Willard Her sleep and eating patterns decrease and become irregular as she falls deeper into the stages of depression She goes to see a psychiatrist Dr Gordon but he proves to be not much help to Esthers condition and advises
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