Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar
Sylvia Plath’s semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar was first published in 1963, against the wishes of her mother and husband. She committed suicide a month later. Plath addresses with great wit via the character Esther Greenwood, a college girl in the early 1950s, the stifling social climate of the time and the monstrous restrictions and pressures placed upon women. This series of etchings follows Esther’s spiraling descent into madness and back out again (if only temporarily) as she is caught between a world that closes in on her and doesn’t understand, and the equally painful world of her mind. With conflicting expectations coming from all directions, she is trapped in a bell jar filled with the hot and stagnant air of depression.

Etching and aquatint with hand-applied watercolor.

I Was Supposed to be Having the Time of My Life

I Am Horribly Limited

I Am, I Am, I Am

I Didn't Want Any Flowers

We'll Act as if This Were a Bad Dream

I Was Open to the Circulating Air