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Heteronormative Recovery in the Bell Jar

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Gretchen Therese Junglas.pdf
Title: Heteronormative Recovery in the Bell Jar
Author: Junglas, Gretchen Therese
Abstract: In Sylvia Plath’s novel The Bell Jar, Esther Greenwood struggles to form a true identity. She emulates many women as a way to see how various identities work for her. One of these identities is that of a lesbian. During the novel’s 1953 setting, lesbianism was not a socially acceptable lifestyle. Esther struggles with own internalized homophobia as well as the control of her doctors. She undergoes treatment during her hospitalization that is suggestive of sexual conversion therapy at the time, including the use of electricity as a tool of discipline. Doctors lead her toward an identity that is not necessarily true or healthy. The novel suggests that recovery is actually heteronormative conformity.
Date: -
Subject: Plath, Sylvia. Bell jar.
Plath, Sylvia -- Criticism and interpretation.
Women -- Identity.
Lesbianism in literature.
Conformity in literature.
Sex role in literature.
Cold War -- Social aspects.
Electroconvulsive therapy.
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/10365/21654

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