Everyone must endure multiple stages including misfortunes of adulthood. Adolescents are faced with many diverse opportunities, ranging from careers, education, and self-identity. Many of these values are too difficult to understand or accomplish for one who has not had enough life-experiences. When a burden such as society’s standards is placed upon the young adult, mental illness may also affect how the adolescent functions. These authors advise the audience without proper social engagement, one may not be able to prosper to a full extent. Influential novels such as “The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, “Speaking of Sadness by David Karp”, and film “A Beautiful Mind by director Ron Howard” all analyse the unfortunate period of mental illness, and how social supporting factors, present or absent, influence one’s ability to overcome hardships in these young years.
Fictional book, “The Bell Jar,” by Sylvia Plath has the capability of being used as a negative example in relation to mental illness. Esther Greenwood in The Bell Jar, is Sylvia Plath’s own recreation or representation of herself, prior to her unfortunate death. The novel is based on the decline of young, nineteen-year-old University student, Esther. Esther is faced with conflicts even from the beginning of her childhood. Her father passed away at the very young age of nine, and her mother was not very pleased with her passion for poetry and other creative elements of writing. Throughout the novel, a reader such as ourselves can understand Esther’s personal situation as these hardships are occurring at such a young age, impossible for one to bare, or even understand. One important factor to take note, is friends. Friends in the novel play an important role, as they ultimately shape her personality.
In any instance, the surroundings one is surrounded by effect values and other character traits. Accordingly, from this information, a main argument is constructed. Author Sylvia Plath in “The Bell Jar” creates an effort to illustrate the adverse effects of absent social relations, on fragile, unaccustomed young adolescent growth in society. This aspect is evident in Esther.
Understanding the importance of reality, the novel provides insight of the negative consequence of personality. Author Sylvia Plath was in the same predicament as her fictionalized character, proving that many young people undergo the same circumstances. Esther’s own character, was shaped by her “friends” Doreen, and Betsy, two incorporate two very different identities. Her surroundings also play a vital role, as imperfections of minor characters can be absorbed into Esther. Friend Doreen lives a very different lifestyle, a more elegant life than Esther. Doreen spends ample time with Esther, trying to change Esther’s taste into more materialistic items.
Doreen favors Esther into items such as such as lavish clothes, a lavish lifestyle, and greater satisfaction towards men. Friend Betsy on the other hand, has entirely different contrasting values. Betsy’s personality is very giving and caring. One major difference in comparison is that Betsy has not been faced with the harsh reality of the real world. Betsy has been more sheltered, and has not ever faced any consequences.
Esther in return is currently trying to decide which identity she must follow. Being faced with these friends, and many other significant people in her life has constructed a small part of her. Esther is known to analyse and criticize her friends.
Still questioning her identity, she does this to figure out who she wants to be in this world. Without proper friends who are well rounded, and set a good example, Esther will struggle and continue on a downwards path, outlined accordingly in the novel. If the reader was in a similar position, one would question his/her own identity and what it stands for. The following quote best describes esther’s character at the current point in time. “I felt very still and very empty, the way the eye of a tornado must feel, moving dully along in the middle of the surrounding hullabaloo.”(Quote Esther Greenwood, The Bell Jar Page 6) Analysing the quote, the reader understands Esther is placed in the center of all the chaos surrounding her life.
Esther has isolated herself from finding status. Progressing onwards, it is important our own selves examine the novel by “David Karp, Speaking of Sadness.” Speaking of sadness is an interesting novel, as it also has a strong connection to Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar”. The novel is based on a direct life story on how mental illness affected author David Karp’s personal life, and academic life as an adult. The novel covers slightly more in-depth material such as how one as himself would create strategies to contend the illness, and how family or friends acknowledge his difficulties. Also covered in the novel, is the adverse inequality medication causes.
Karp discovered, that a gradual disconnection from his social life resulted in disconnection from society. Karp discovered he could not attain the feeling of satisfaction her once had, regardless of how academic he truly was. According to the findings, a main idea can be formulated. David Karp’s “Speaking of Sadness” also reproduces similar issues about mental illness, in relation to the difficulties Esther was going through at the time period.