I was in an odd place at my life; I've never been so confused with the changes that were going on around me. Good things and bad things were happening and I didn't know how to take it. Overwhelmed, I was finally giving everything up until, one day, just out of curiosity, I started to read Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. Upon reading this book, I also opened the door to a new opportunity that I am currently pursuing: Psychology. Under Esther's impression, I was left with the thoughts that maybe it was possible to help people with depression or the burdens in their lives by being an occupational therapist.
Reading about Esther Greenwood, the protagonist's descend into madness as a young woman made me realize that it was alright for me to feel different from the other people I was around and that I wasn't alone in my endeavor of becoming a young adult. I quickly realized that it was a normal thing for people to go through the transition of being a kid to an adult, but some people dealt with it differently and maybe even took it as a hardship. Taking this into consideration, I felt sympathy towards helpless Esther; though she had figures of comfort coming and going in her life, she didn't seem to have the full support from any of them. Something inside me felt as though, if she were a real person, I could have reached out to help her.
The Bell Jar encouraged me to become a therapist because of the way readers can get into the head of Esther. It was really groundbreaking to have a character so disheartened and unlike compared to literary characters of that Levittown-era. I think it gave insight to people that everything will not always wonderful and that people do not succeed. While that taboo subject was being popularized more, there was and still is a belief that those who cannot reach their goals in life could find alternative ways to do so or be pushed on the right track to accomplish what they wanted and, to me, I find that is a rewarding job to have, by helping and making a difference in someone's life.
Reading The Bell Jar changed my life. Whether or not the reader understands where Esther is coming from with her nature, there is a point in the story where you begin to feel like you want to do anything you can to help her. I began to think that there are plenty of people out in the world like Esther: who seem like they cannot go on anymore, the ones that hurt, the ones that need an extra boost of confidence to save them from everything. Though Esther isn't real, there are people identical I can help.