Due 10/26: The Bell Jar and More…

1. The Bell Jar–Complete the novel!

The Bell Jar essay is just around the bend, so you should begin thinking about argumentative positions on the text. I strongly encourage you to consider how the feminist lens questions can give shape to a thesis.

Keep in mind: Feminist criticism is concerned with “…the ways in which literature (and other cultural productions) reinforce or undermine the economic, political, social, and psychological oppression of women” (Tyson). This school of theory looks at how aspects of our culture are inherently patriarchal (male dominated) and “…this critique strives to expose the explicit and implicit misogyny in male writing about women” (Richter 1346).

Remember, Plath illustrates economic, social, and psychological oppression of Esther (and perhaps others). Where do we see this in the novel? How does she illustrate these dynamics?

(Due 10/31) Thesis/Essay Pre-writing–In preparation for your essay, you must fill in the blank here: In my The Bell Jar essay I will explore Plath’s treatment of ___________. Fill in the blank with an element(s) that you would like to explore. Many of you will choose to explore her treatment of a specific theme, and that is fine, but know that you are not limited to theme here. then, develop the idea a bit. Naturally, I want you to WRITE OUT (in your binder) at least 5 quotations that are relevant to a discussion of your chosen element(s). This is the first step of the process! The more thought and effort you put into this, the easier the entire process will be. Here is a sample:


2. (Due 10/27 for 10H and 10/28 for 10B) Confessional Poems…  Requirements:

  • Honest and Authentic
  • Free verse is fine
  • You must use stanzaic form
  • Pay attention to sound as you write
  • You must employ “painterly language” and literary devices (i.e. vivid imagery, metaphor, symbolism, motifs, etc)
  • Write from the inside out
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