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NOT THE OTHER

Tag: depression

THE BELL JAR

Sylvia Reading

The Bell Jar is American writer and poet Sylvia Plath’s only novel, which was originally published under the pseudonym “Victoria Lucas” in 1963. The novel is semi-autobiographical with the names of places and people changed. The book is often regarded as a roman à clef, with the protagonist’s descent into mental illness paralleling Plath’s own experiences with what may have been clinical depression. Plath committed suicide a month after its first UK publication. The novel was published under Plath’s name for the first time in 1967 and was not published in the United States until 1971, pursuant to the wishes of Plath’s mother and her husband Ted Hughes.

Victoria,

The Bell Jar addresses the question of socially acceptable identity. It examines Esther Greenwood, a young woman from the suburbs of Boston’s, “quest to forge her own identity, to be herself rather than what others expect her to be”. Esther is expected to become a housewife, and a self-sufficient woman, without the options to achieve independence. Esther feels she is a prisoner to domestic duties and she fears the loss of her inner self. The Bell Jar sets out to highlight the problems with oppressive patriarchal society in mid-20th Century America. The men in Esther’s life are all oppressive, whether it is in a physical manner or an emotional one.

SP

The Yellow Wallpaper in shreds

Julia Callon

Heath

 

Nick the Poet

 

Image

A nightmare is an unpleasant dream that can cause a strong negative emotional response from the mind, typically fear or horror, but also despair, anxiety and great sadness. The dream may contain situations of danger, discomfort, psychological or physical terror. Sufferers usually awaken in a state of distress and may be unable to return to sleep for a prolonged period of time.

I started having extremely, strong and visceral ‘tornado’ dreams when I was on my first American road trip. As I recall, the very first visitation was when I was sleeping in a tent just outside Ventura, California. I could have better understood if it had occurred somewhat later in the trip when I was traveling through the likes of Texas, but as I was sleeping on a beach I guess the roar of the Pacific crashing along the shoreline created the impetus. As much as it was terrifying in presence, it was at the same time a thing of great visual beauty. It was if I were a locked-off camera about to take a snap shot of a 1930’s American family. Old grandparents, their offspring, excited grandchildren and even the family dog, gathered on the porch of their lonely, wooden farmhouse to pose for the photograph that I was about to take. As everyone beamed a smile towards me I noticed on the horizon, to the right and behind, fast-moving black clouds out of which descended three tornadoes. One by one each tornado quickly earthed, churning up the farmland as they proceeded towards this idyllic family portrait.

Needless to say, I awoke to the very loud and deep echoing sound of a large roller crashing into the shore. I was frightened but somewhat elated at having witnessed the fingers of God, albeit in a dream. To this day the visitations, sometimes lifting me with their energy and at other times scaring the absolute hell out of me, surround me with their presence of mesmerizing beauty.