The Bell Jar

Doreen's Rebellion Against Social Norms in The Bell Jar By Sylvia Plath College

In The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, the protagonist, Esther Greenwood, gets accepted to a summer internship at a prominent magazine in New York City. There, she meets Doreen, her co-worker. Esther is different from her. Doreen goes against the boundaries that society pushes Esther and the other girls to follow. She is scandalous and adventurous in her sexual behaviour, she does not listen to or follow authority, and she is the total opposite of Betsy, Esther's co-worker. Esther admires her but is too afraid to fully embrace her and be like her since Esther is scared of the consequences she might face. In the story of The Bell Jar, Doreen represents the possibility of rebellion against social norms in 1950s America without facing the consequences that Esther fears, this may influence Esther to rebel against the society too.

Doreen ignores the society's rule for women regarding sexual purity. Due to Doreen's promiscuous behavior, Esther is attracted to her. When Esther is a good girl, she feels miserable and bored of her life. Therefore, when she sees Doreen behave this way, Esther is envious. Esther wants to feel free as Doreen. Because of this Esther follows Doreen and go to a strange man's apartment. This would be considered...

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