Many times throughout Sylvia Plath ‘s The Bell Jar, Esther Greenwood, the storyteller, looks in the mirror and feels inadequate in her expressions, her cognition, or in other ways. Because of Esther ‘s mental unwellness, readers and analysts of The Bell Jar get down to look at the transmutation of the manner she perceives herself ; Esther ‘s self-image began ill at the beginning of the novel and deteriorates throughout the fresh therefore making an addition in her depression.
The beginning positions that Esther perceives herself as are that she did non look every bit reasonably as the other misss who were on the internship in New York with her, and she besides describes her sunburn as being faded off, which made her look as “ xanthous as a Chinaman ” ( 9 ) . These comparings that Esther makes between her tegument and the tegument of a adult male show that she does non hold a positive self-image. Besides, Esther does non see herself every bit merely any adult male but a minority that is frequently discriminated against. Right after she describes her faded sunburn and the remainder of herself, she and Doreen have a dark on the town with Lenny, a adult male they had merely met that dark. By the terminal of the dark, Esther has to walk back to the hotel room entirely rummy. Therefore, her hapless self-image has led her to do hapless picks, such as go forthing the group of housemans with unusual work forces. After doing those hapless picks, Esther reflects over herself more.
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In the lift, she sees her contemplation in the doors, and once more, she compares her facial figures to a minority, “ I noticed a large, smudgy-eyed Chinese adult female gazing idiotically into my face. It was merely me, of class. I was appalled to see how wrinkly and used up I looked ” ( 20 ) . Her self-perception diminishes yet once more ; she now non merely sees herself as a Chinese male but a Chinese adult female. Esther sees herself as a minority that is many times discriminated against even more than a male minority would be, which shows that even throughout one dark, Esther ‘s self-image transforms into something she feels is more and more inadequate. However, her dark of self-reflecting is non over.
Subsequently that dark in her hotel room, Esther describes when looking in the mirror that “ the mirror over my agency seemed somewhat warped and much excessively silver. The face in it looked like the contemplation in a ball of tooth doctor ‘s quicksilver ” ( 21 ) . The image of quicksilver is connected to another incidence in the novel when Esther knocks the tray of thermometers off of her bed and gathers “ a ball of quicksilver ” ( 204 ) . The self-image of quicksilver could be boding of the patterned advance of Esther ‘s mental unwellness. However, in the mirror, Esther does non see herself as the ideal image she aspires to be, and because she does non see herself in a positive manner, this shows that her judgement and credibleness as a storyteller are affected. Because her judgement is non at its possible, Esther may do hapless picks, such as traveling off in the dark with unusual work forces. After recognizing that she makes those hapless picks, Esther could so get down to fall into a downward spiral of guilt and hapless self-image, doing more hapless picks, etc. The downward spiral could so do her depression and self-image worse.
After interrupting down in forepart of the lensman and Jay Cee, Esther looks in the mirror and illustrates what she sees, “ The face that peered back at me seemed to be peering from the grate of a prison cell after a drawn-out whipping. It looked bruised and bouffant and all the incorrect colourss, ” ( 114 ) . Again, Esther describes her self-image as being unequal, and shortly afterwards she is attacked by Marco at the state nine. After she leaves New York, Esther looks in the mirror once more and thought that “ The face in the mirror looked like a ill Indian, ” ( 125 ) . This case of believing about self-image shows that Esther feels that she was non every bit valuable as she was earlier because of the onslaught from Marco, and the Markss of blood he left on her alluded to war pigment used by Indians. Soon after this, Esther slips farther into depression.
Esther ‘s depression leads her into believing about perpetrating self-destruction, and one of the options she contemplates is slicing her carpuss with a razor blade and shed blooding out into a bath. However, when Esther looks in the mirror seeking to do herself perpetrate suicide this manner, she can non because, “ the individual in the mirror was paralyzed and excessively stupid to make a thing ” ( 165 ) . Her feelings of stupidity and palsy show that her self-image is still hapless, where she does non experience that she adequate plenty to perpetrate self-destruction. After Esther overdoses on kiping pills and is moved to a infirmary, she looks in the mirror and is so displeased with what she saw that she throws the mirror down and interrupt it ( 195 ) . By interrupting the mirror, Esther could hold been exposing that her self-image was wholly broken and needed to be rebuilt, which may or may non hold happened throughout the remainder of her life.
In Plath ‘s The Bell Jar, Esther begins with a low self-pride and a hapless self-image ; a hapless self-image combined with the increasing feeling of insufficiency and rejection creates a snowball consequence that leads Esther into mental unwellness and depression. By seeing how Esther ‘s hapless self-image affected her mental stableness, it can assist promote other immature adult females to see themselves in a better visible radiation every bit good as aid those around them that they see are fighting.