Six Degrees of Separation: The Bell Jar
I can’t be quite so verbose this month, as I have school reports to write! Here goes:
- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
I identified waaaaaay too much with Plath’s particular type of ‘crazy’ when I first read The Bell Jar. I’d like to think that it would be a different read these days, now that I have my head in order (somewhat!). I loved it; it was astute and funny and terrifying. Funnily enough, I doubt I’ll revisit this book. Poor old Plath.
- Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
I can’t help but think of another female writer who succumbed to depression and suicide: Virgina Woolf. Mrs Dalloway and The Bell Jar both explore mental illness and patriarchal oppression.
- The Mill on the Floss, George Eliot
I have a vision of Woolf walking into the water with stone-filled pockets and I’m reminded of Maggie Tulliver and her brother drowning in a flood. What an awful way to go. Plenty of tragedy and patriarchal oppression here!
- The Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter
Enough with the victims! Angela Carter appropriates elements of fairy-tales and folk tales to invert patriarchal power systems.
Written on the Body, Jeanette Winterson
There are moments of perversity and sensuality in The Bloody Chamber, and I’m reminded of Winterson’s Written on the Body (amongst other works). Here, woman is object and subject, complicated by the ‘gender-less’ narrator.
- The Glory of Woman
This is a very special family heirloom, passed down from my great- grandmother. It is part 19th century self-help book, part female anatomy textbook. This tome provided many laughs during my formative years. It is prescriptive in its descriptions of romantic love, courtship and sex.
Can you tell I did a few units of Women’s Studies at uni?