Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

  • There is something demoralizing about watching two people get more and more crazy about each other, especially when you are the only extra person in the room.
  • There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them.
  • There is nothing like puking with somebody to make you into old friends.
  • It was comforting to know I had fallen and could fall no further.
  • There I went again, building up a glamorous picture of a man who would love me passionately the minute he met me, and all out of a few prosy nothings.
  • What was the point of getting dressed if you were staying in bed for the morning?
  • If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.
  • I hated the idea of serving men in any way. I wanted to dictate my own thrilling letters.
  • From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig we Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.
  • That's one of the reasons I never wanted to get married. 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.
  • In spite of all the roses and kisses and restaurant dinners a man showered on a woman before he married her, what he secretly wanted when the wedding service ended was for her to flatten out underneath his feet like Mrs. Willard's kitchen mat.
  • If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell. I'll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days.
  • The silence between us was so profound I though part of it must be my fault.
  • Then plan after plan started leaping through my head, like a family of scatty rabbits.
  • I thought the small letter at the start might mean that nothing ever really began all new, with a capital, but that it just flowed on from what came before.
  • I wanted to do everything once and for all and be through with it.
  • The more hopeless you were, the further away they hid you.
  • My mother said the cure for thinking too much about yourself was helping somebody who was worse off than you.
  • I also hate people to ask cheerfully how you are when they know you're feeling like hell and expect you to say "Fine."
  • I would rather have anything wrong with my body than something wrong with my head, but the idea seemed so involved and wearisome that I didn't say anything. I only burrowed down further in the bed.
  • I told him I believed in hell, and that certain people like me, had to live in hell before they died, to make up for missing out on it after death.
  • If I was going to fall, I would hang on to my small comforts, at least, as long as I possibly could.
  • Maybe forgetfulness, like a kind of snow, should numb and cover them. But they were part of me. They were my landscape.
  • For the few little outward successes I may seem to have, there are acres of misgivings and self-doubt.