LogoLogo

Cloze Text - The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar - Sylvia PlathThe text is a synopsis of The Bell Jar, a novel by Sylvia Plath (Boston 27 Oct 1932, London 11 Febr 1963), the story of a girl's attraction for suicide and her slow return to life.
Read the text once or twice. Be sure you understand most of it, then make a choice in the various "Select" fields, then click "Show Solutions" to see the correct answer. [If you find the text difficult, you might read the Solutions first, then try the exercise.]

Study the Words to insert:

Section One
begins= inizia -- disc jockey= dJ -- fashion= moda -- felt= sentito -- former= ex -- sleep= sonno -- spends= passa -- tried= cercato -- undressed= spogliato -- walls= pareti -- winners= vincitrici -- wins= vince -- women= donne

Section Two
awareness= coscienza -- brought= portato -- inferior= inferiore -- last= ultimo/a -- mentality= mentalità -- photos= foto -- poet= poetessa -- rose= rosa -- sinks= sprofonda -- stay= soggiorno -- tries= tenta -- wants= vuole

Section Three
accepted= ammessa -- childish= infantile -- clothes= vestiti -- cries= piange -- fail= falliscono -- failure= fallimento -- finds= trova -- hair= capelli -- hidden= nascosto -- suicides= suicidi -- takes= porta -- veins= vene

Section Four
abyss= abisso -- arrives= arriva -- decision= decisione -- gave= aveva dato -- hanging= appeso/a -- health= salute -- imagined= immaginava -- leads= porta -- move= trasferire -- priest= sacerdote -- throws= getta -- wakes up= si sveglia

Section Five
again= di nuovo -- both= entrambi/e -- college= università -- dismiss= dimettono -- feels= si sente -- has been= è stato/a -- leaves= lascia -- uneasiness= disagio -- where= dove -- wonders= si chiede
Follow Eamus on Facebook:

Section One

Esther Greenwood the literary contest of a magazine and goes to New York as a guest editor. She is lodged in a hotel for only. Here she meets another of the of the contest, Doreen, and they become friends. When Doreen going out with Lenny Shepherd, a , Esther feels lonely. Esther lives in a kind of half as under "a bell jar", and sees reality through its distorting . In New York, she also meets Constantin, a simultaneous interpreter; she a night with him and is very unhappy because he has not to seduce her. She remembers her boyfriend, Buddy, who, in his bedroom, had in front of her: she had nothing.

Section Two

The relationship with Buddy and other boys and the of being considered because she is woman had Esther to unmask the sexist that was behind the rhetorics of virginity and marriage. At the end of the girl's in New York, commemorative are taken of them: every girl must pose in such an attitude to reveal what she to be. Esther wants to become a and so she is invited to pose with a paper taken off from a hat, but she runs away. Esther in a condition of inertia and refuses to go out. One night Doreen introduces her to Marco (a "woman hater", as Esther calls him). Marco to rape her, she escapes and comes back to the hotel. This is her night in New York.

Section Three

When she returns home, her mother is waiting for her at the station with a bad piece of news: she has not been to a summer course of short story writing. After this , Esther falls into a deep depression: she does not sleep, does not wash her , does not change her . Her mother her to a psychiatrist, Mr. Gordon, but the doctor cannot solve her problem. Her handwriting has become . Esther starts cutting out articles about . She tries to cut her , to drown and to hang herself, but all these attempts. One afternoon she goes to visit her father's grave, bitterly, then goes back home. She a tube of sleeping drugs that her mother had . She goes down to the cellar and here begins to swallow the pills.

Section Four

After three days Esther in hospital. She asks for a mirror but, when she looks at herself she is shocked and it away. She is moved to a psychiatric clinic but here the contact with other patients her near to schizophrenia. Philomena Guinea, the writer that Esther a college grant, learns of her illness and helps her to a better qualified clinic in New York. Here, a woman, Dr. Nolan, helps her recover her mental .

Meanwhile also Joan, another former girlfriend of Buddy's, who has lesbian inclinations, in the same clinic. Esther begins to climb up the ; "the bell jar" starts rising. Also Joan begins to recover. Esther's first autonomous act is her to get rid of her virginity. She looks for the "right man", a kind of anonymous , for the sacrifice: but it is not so simple as she : she has a violent haemorrhage and Joan has to take her to hospital. Soon after Joan disappears; the next morning she is found dead, from a tree.

Section Five

Buddy goes and sees Esther, he responsible for what has happened to girls but Esther reassures him. Going away, Buddy who will marry her after she to a mental hospital. Then Esther comes into a room some doctors her from the clinic. The end of the novel a feeling of in the reader: we know "the bell jar" will descend one day. "How did I know that someday at , in Europe, somewhere, anywhere, the bell jar, with its stifling distortions, would not descend again?"
[ Show Solutions ] ---- [ Hide Solutions ]
Section One
Esther Greenwood wins the literary contest of a fashion magazine and goes to New York as a guest editor. She is lodged in a hotel for women only. Here she meets another of the winners of the contest, Doreen, and they become friends. When Doreen begins going out with Lenny Shepherd, a disc jockey, Esther feels lonely. Esther lives in a kind of half sleep as under "a bell jar", and sees reality through its distorting walls. In New York, she also meets Constantin, a simultaneous interpreter; she spends a night with him and is very unhappy because he has not tried to seduce her. She remembers her former boyfriend, Buddy, who, in his bedroom, had undressed in front of her: she had felt nothing.

Section Two
The relationship with Buddy and other boys and the awareness of being considered inferior because she is woman had brought Esther to unmask the sexist mentality that was behind the rhetorics of virginity and marriage. At the end of the girl's stay in New York, commemorative photos are taken of them: every girl must pose in such an attitude to reveal what she wants to be. Esther wants to become a poet and so she is invited to pose with a paper rose taken off from a hat, but she runs away. Esther sinks in a condition of inertia and refuses to go out. One night Doreen introduces her to Marco (a "woman hater", as Esther calls him). Marco tries to rape her, she escapes and comes back to the hotel. This is her last night in New York.

Section Three
When she returns home, her mother is waiting for her at the station with a bad piece of news: she has not been accepted to a summer course of short story writing. After this failure, Esther falls into a deep depression: she does not sleep, does not wash her hair, does not change her clothes. Her mother takes her to a psychiatrist, Mr. Gordon, but the doctor cannot solve her problem. Her hand writing has become childish. Esther starts cutting out articles about suicides. She tries to cut her veins, to drown and to hang herself, but all these attempts fail. One afternoon she goes to visit her father's grave, cries bitterly, then goes back home. She finds a tube of sleeping drugs that her mother had hidden. She goes down to the cellar and here begins to swallow the pills.

Section Four
After three days Esther wakes up in hospital. She asks for a mirror but, when she looks at herself she is shocked and throws it away. She is moved to a psychiatric clinic but here the contact with other patients leads her near to schizophrenia. Philomena Guinea, the writer that gave Esther a college grant, learns of her illness and helps her move to a better qualified clinic in New York. Here, a woman, Dr. Nolan, helps her recover her mental health.

Meanwhile also Joan, another former girl friend of Buddy's, who has lesbian inclinations, arrives in the same clinic. Esther begins to climb up the abyss; "the bell jar" starts rising. Also Joan begins to recover. Esther's first autonomous act is her decision to get rid of her virginity. She looks for the "right man", a kind of anonymous priest, for the sacrifice: but it is not so simple as she imagined: she has a violent haemorrhage and Joan has to take her to hospital. Soon after Joan disappears; the next morning she is found dead, hanging from a tree.

Section Five
Buddy goes and sees Esther, he feels responsible for what has happened to both girls but Esther reassures him. Going away, Buddy wonders who will marry her after she has been to a mental hospital. Then Esther comes into a room where some doctors dismiss her from the clinic. The end of the novel leaves a feeling of uneasiness in the reader: we know "the bell jar" will descend again one day. "How did I know that someday at college, in Europe, somewhere, anywhere the bell jar, with its stifling distortions, would not descend again?"