How Far Does Patriarchal Society Contribute to Female Madness in Sylvia Plath's the Belljar and a Streetcar Named Desire by Tenassee Williams?

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Both the Bell jar and A Streetcar Named Desire portray two representations of female madness in a patriarchal society. In this study, the effect of patriarchal society in 1960’s America to Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar is investigated through excerpts from her only book The Bell Jar and her journals that parallel her semi-autobiographical character Esther Greenwood. Plath’s The Bell jar is often considered a very accurate portrayal of 1950s America, with its oppressive atmosphere surrounding the protagonist. The Bell Jar is a feminist novel, not because it was written by a feminist, but because it deals with the feminist issues of power, the sexual double standard, and the quest for identity. Sylvia Plath’s first and only novel ‘The Bell Jar’ focuses on the protagonist and narrator Esther Greenwood; The Bell Jar is a story of how Esther descends into a dark and depressive state and how she eventually overcomes the illness, even if it was not permanent. The theme of female oppression is highlighted throughout the rest of the novel. The novel also highlights the idea that the people that surround you can push you to conform, even though you do not want to, for instance Esther’s mother constantly attempts to force Esther into a stereotypically female job such as a short-hander, the idea that women are only suitable for easier, less fulfilling professions. The protagonist, Esther, explains her desire to explore and rebel against the ‘norm’ for woman in the 1950’s society. "The last thing I wanted was infinite security and to be the place an arrow shoots off from. I wanted change and excitement and to shoot off in all directions myself, like the colored arrows from a Fourth of July rocket." The quote “infinite security” describes the life that most women of the pre-feminist 1950’s desired, to be kept safe by the more powerful and successful males. Esther is a symbol
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