A2 English literature comparison coursework - the bell jar

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J.555
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In terms of mental illness and women what pre 1900 novel could i compare with 'The Bell Jar".
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BogdanK
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(Original post by J.555)
In terms of mental illness and women what pre 1900 novel could i compare with 'The Bell Jar".
I think "Wuthering Heights" might be a pretty good pick for mental illness though I'm not sure how you could synthesise it effectively with something like "The Bell Jar". I suppose you could argue that in both cases a female character was sacrificed to good intentions by those who had power over her. In "Bell Jar" Esther relied on Doctor Gordon to help her get over her depression - this resulted in the deterioration of her condition as opposed to its improvement. In "Wuthering Heights", two men - Heathcliff and Edgar Linton - seemingly for the sake of Catherine's (the main character's) happiness attempt to undercut one another to win her love - she is driven insane by her feelings for both men and the inability to satisfy them in the context of a traditional marriage. Another comment for "Bell Jar" is that Esther is constantly presented with brilliant opportunities and prospects for the future by those who are interested in her well-being but in the end is torn apart by the people who try to push her own prospects.



I hope this was helpful



Also, a lot fo Dostoyevsky's works deal with mental illness in women - "The Idiot" for example.
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J.555
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(Original post by BogdanK)
I think "Wuthering Heights" might be a pretty good pick for mental illness though I'm not sure how you could synthesise it effectively with something like "The Bell Jar". I suppose you could argue that in both cases a female character was sacrificed to good intentions by those who had power over her. In "Bell Jar" Esther relied on Doctor Gordon to help her get over her depression - this resulted in the deterioration of her condition as opposed to its improvement. In "Wuthering Heights", two men - Heathcliff and Edgar Linton - seemingly for the sake of Catherine's (the main character's) happiness attempt to undercut one another to win her love - she is driven insane by her feelings for both men and the inability to satisfy them in the context of a traditional marriage. Another comment for "Bell Jar" is that Esther is constantly presented with brilliant opportunities and prospects for the future by those who are interested in her well-being but in the end is torn apart by the people who try to push her own prospects.



I hope this was helpful



Also, a lot fo Dostoyevsky's works deal with mental illness in women - "The Idiot" for example.
Thank you! I appreciate your request and totally agree, i have read 'Wuthering Heights' and initially thought the books would be a great match but unfortunately because i've already studied it in school i wasn't allowed to pick it. However, i've found a book to compare with 'The Bell Jar', so all is good. But thank you for your input.
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runnermxc
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The Yellow Wallpaper
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J.555
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(Original post by runnermxc)
The Yellow Wallpaper
Thank you, i've decided to go with that book!
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Quick-use
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(Original post by J.555)
Thank you, i've decided to go with that book!
Make sure to focus on the literary side of it. Thematic concerns like messages regarding mental health, although important, shouldn't be the primary focus of your essay. You would do well to focus on the literary devices etc.
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J.555
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(Original post by Quick-use)
Make sure to focus on the literary side of it. Thematic concerns like messages regarding mental health, although important, shouldn't be the primary focus of your essay. You would do well to focus on the literary devices etc.
Thank you! I will try my best to focus on literary devices although it is one of my weakness recognising them. I hope through the coursework i will make it my strength to recognise them.
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