My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sylvia Plath's autobiographical novel is chilly, incredibly smart and observant.
A breakthrough in feminist literature, the book feels vital and relevant despite the passage of more than half a century. Maybe its significance continues to grow as society evolves to match the work, which was considerably ahead of its time.
Plath's sardonic mentality reveals how much of an influence she was on Lisa Simpson, who carries on Plath's satirical perspective today.
The protagonist struggles with turmoil brought on by harsh social expectations pressed on her by the patriarchy, as well as inner struggles with her optimism and ability to find a reason to keep pressing forward.
On the downside, the book does read a bit Liver Journal-y, but its navel-gazing tendencies also help demonstrate the askew perspective of life trapped in the bell jar.
In all, the novel is a glorious and vital accomplishment that makes me want to read the rest of Plath's work.
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