The Bell Jar has an unfair reputation as a ‘female-version of The Catcher in the Rye’, or as the book of sad teenage girls. While I actually loved Catcher in the Rye, The Bell Jar is an amazing novel all on its own. Plath’s use of language is (unsurprisingly) poetic and her commentary on 1950s American society is sharp, insightful and even humorous at times. My love for The Bell Jar led me to construct the ‘flowchart quiz’ below to help other fans of the book find other books they may enjoy.
I chose the 5 books included in the quiz based off one or more of these requirements:
- Relevance to The Bell Jar in terms of themes (mental illness, female sexuality, coming of age, gender equality, LGBT+ representation and so on)
- Poetic use of language
- Sharp critique of society, especially in regards to the role of women in society
- Relevance in terms of setting – mid 20th century America
And, of course, I only chose books that I have read and loved!
Here is the flowchart quiz:
Have you read The Bell Jar or any of the books in the quiz? What books would you recommend for fans of Sylvia Plath?