SEX AND SUCCESS. A Feminist Analysis of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar
Abstract: Sexuality is an subject area that affects the power relations between genders, where one gender uses sex to subjugate and control the other. Sylvia Plath comments on this use of sexuality in her semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar, while also criticising how sex is used to limit women’s success but used to enhance men’s success. The protagonist, Esther Greenwood, wishes to convey to her audience how sexuality for women should not be perceived as a taboo and should be praised as much as men’s sexuality is. Therefore, this essay is based on the thesis that Sylvia Plath criticises the sexual hierarchy present in the novel’s contexts and its arbitrary role in social and career advancement of women. The focus of this essay is to examine the double standards present in Esther’s American society of the 1950s, how sexuality is used to control the female gender, and finally what Plath believes should be done to eliminate this gap.
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