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The Bell Jar Handout


EN304 Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, 1963

Highly Recommended

Susan Bassnett, Sylvia Plath (Macmillan, 1987)

Christina Britzolakis, Sylvia Plath and the Theatre of Mourning (O.U.P., 1999)

Pat MacPherson, Reflecting on The Bell Jar (Routledge, 1991)

Jacqueline Rose, the Haunting of Sylvia Plath (Penguin, 1991)

Anne Stevenson, Bitter Fame: A Life of Sylvia Plath (Penguin, 1989)

Linda Wagner-Martin, Sylvia Plath: A Literary Life (Macmillan, 1999)

Some Relevant Chapters in the Secondary Reading

“War and Cold War” and “The Sixties and Seventies,” in Bradbury & Temperley, Introduction to American Studies

“Gender and sexuality: ‘to break the old circuits’,” in Campbell & Kean, American Cultural Studies

“Gender in American Literature and Culture,” in Mitchell & Maidment, The United States in the Twentieth Century: Culture

“Strange Realities, Adequate Fictions,” in Ruland & Bradbury, From Puritanism to Postmodernism


Samuel Fuller, dir. Shock Corridor (Allied Artists, 1963)

Samuel Fuller, dir. The Naked Kiss (1964)

Milos Forman, dir. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Fantasy, 1975)

Further Reading

Margaret Atwood, The Edible Woman (1969)

Margaret Atwood, Surfacing (1972)

Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye (1989)

Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex (1953) [first published in French 1949)

Germaine Greer, The Female Eunoch (1972)

Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (1963)

Shulamith Firestone, The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution (1970)

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962)

R.D. Laing, The Divided Self (1959)

Norman Mailer, An American Dream (1965)

Kate Millett, Sexual Politics (1971)

Marge Piercy, Woman on the Edge of Time (1976)

Marge Piercy, Braided Lives (1982)

Sylvia Plath, Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams (Faber & Faber, 1977)

Sylvia Plath, Letters Home: Correspondence 1950-63, (Faber & Faber, 1999)

Sylvia Plath, The Journals of Sylvia Plath, ed. by Ted Hughes (Dial Press, 1982)

J.P. Sartre, La Nausee (1938)