What is a bell jar? Do a little research to discover the literal meaning of the item Plath uses as the title for her book. What might the bell jar's significance be in the novel, given what you have read so far?
A bell jar is a glass, bell-shaped container that usually sits as a cover to food, plants, or other items. Think of a glass dome that sits over cheese. The bell jar covers an object or environment and keeps fresh air from getting to it. These glass containers are often used for scientific experiments. Students should recognize that Esther feels confused and depressed, perhaps alien to herself as though she is being experimented on.
The story begins in...
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