The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath



‘Mrs. Guinea answered my letter and invited me to lunch at her home. That was where I saw my first finger bowl.

The water had a few cherry blossoms floating in it, and I thought it must be some clear sort of Japanese after-dinner soup and ate every bit of it, including the crisp little blossoms.

Mrs. Guinea never said anything, and it was only much later,when I told a debutante I knew at college about the dinner, that I learned what I had done.’


‘Remember how you asked me where would I like to live best, the country or the city?’

‘And you said…’

‘And I said I wanted to live in the country and in the city both?’

Buddy nodded.

‘And you,’ I continued with sudden force, ‘laughed and said I had the perfect setup of a true neurotic and that that question came from some questionnaire you’d had in psychology class that week?’

Buddy’s smile dimmed.

‘Well, you were right. I am neurotic. I could never settle down in either the country or the city.’

‘You could live between them,’ Buddy suggested helpfully. ‘Then you could go to the city sometimes and to the country sometimes.’

‘Well, what’s so neurotic about that?’

Buddy didn’t answer.


-The Bell Jar, Plath

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