Day 5

The Bell Jar Lesson Plan

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    The Bell Jar is a semi-autobiographical novel; the protagonist is named Esther Greenwood, not Sylvia Plath. What is the difference between fiction, biography, and autobiography? How does the genre impact the reader's expectations?

    A biography is a factual account of a person's life, and Plath is writing about her than just her life. An autobiography is a personal account, and while Plath journalled extensively, she did not offer those writings for publication. The reader might understand that a biography or an autobiography has less "wiggle-room" and adheres more uniformly with historical events. The writer's perspective differs, of course, between biography and...

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