ENGA11H3 Lecture Notes - Sylvia Plath, Bell Jar, Neurosis

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20 Apr 2012
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1953 diamonds are a girls bvest friend
Same time as when Sylvia plath won a scholarship with 11 othe girls to go to new York city
Called a college issue- had all the new fashions
They would have a national contests where women in uni could get spots on the guest editorial
board for mademoiselle
o It was an advertisement
o Serious apprenticeship potential
Girls had top GPAs
Bell jar semi autobiographical
Hotel was called barbeson plath changes that to amazon
Had lots of supervision
o Under strict control
o Curfews
o Chaperoned from event to event
o Bec ause problems wouldn’t be good for mademoiselle publicity
You can see this in bell jar, clearly
Everyone gets food poising other than Doreen who skips it (rebel)
Esther wants to align herself with dorreen but also feels extinguished by her esther says she
know lenny was there for Doreen
o esther realizes that lenny paid the other guy to come double date
there is a lot of humilitian
o humiliation is a result of context
o its something that happens inside you related to the context you find yourself in
o and this is heavily related to the discourses you find yourself in
women are marketed
o marketed to but also marketed
o gives image that blondes are feminine and act feminie
Monroe rocks are different shape
o Better translate cleavage into jewewllery before you lose it
o Brides get money before you get divorces
o Get money from business man
o Get money from boss before you lose
o Don’t be stupid, naïve, your bopdy is for sale, get diamonds before you lose it
o Seems to be empowering if your trading in your body get its value paid for
This song is axiety inducing
o Right now your hot
o But not gna be hot forever
o If you don’t get financial stability while your hot, you wont get it when your old
Not much has changed in this respects
Mademoiselle, 1953 advertisemtn for a bra
o Called hidden treasure
o Not selling you a bra, selling you something to prop up your assets
o Girdle ad supple corsets
‘make yoru torso, moreso
Your body is what your given, your figure is what you make of it
Figure is a pun- figures as in money you get out of it
Plain curves are for the math books, but captivating curves hidden treasure
Adds value to a-,b-,c-,d-,cup
o Size of you is more important than your gpa
Seduction is an illusory form of power
Power is a direct way to enact change
Seduction is only powerful because it can seduce someone in power to be in
power on your behalf (?)
o Your windsong stays on his mind
o Perfume ads offer themselves as a prop for feminity
o Femininity is a seductive performances that is coded for masuculinity
o Womens perfumes names after seducing power (poison)
o Mens by power (brute, etc)
o Bell jar: I new something was wrong with me, clothes hangin like limp fish, everything I
had in college not worth anything (get real quote)
As if she is a bird and hits the glass wall
She gets behind the spectacle and realizes that it IS all spectacle
She had been following a charade
o One of esthers problems is that she is so bright and insightful because she can let go and
engage in the discourse so she gets depressed, suicidal
She is Torn between what you want to believe and what is false
Just before the wave of feminism
o Pills beign prescribed by the bucket to get the women to accept the disrouses
o Mademoiselle had lots of columns onb neurosis
Whenever theres a diesesase yhou have to ask yourself what the disease is and
what the cure is
You learn that it is not a disease, it’s a diss- ease
When someone selse feels dis ease they can re difen their confirm to
themselves by redifing their dis-ease as yoru disease.
o The problem with feminituy is that it is self-efacing
Yoru indivuality was erased
Wrinkle cream designed by ppl smarter than you or iron your face
Ads use false dilemmas- use our products or become a lonely cat lady in some
Question false dilemmas- why are those the only two choices
Assumption when you touch the screen is that you are diseased, and you cause people dis-ease,
doesn’t ask you if you are okay, only asks you whats wrong with you
Why is the stuff on yoru face foundation- whyh is it not yoru face
Pores are for your skin breathing why don’t you want your skin to breath
Plath: women is perfected, her dead body wears the smile of accomplishment
o Murderous
What makes you beautiful
o By psychiatrist
In the bok the psychiatrist his fam poto is set towards the outside
o Sets out the normal- im normal, you are not, if you listen to me maybe you will be too
Psychiatrist from mademoiselle
o Looks at her makeup you are fine
o What makes you beatufil
Retrospective look at women becoming robotic projections of mass gender performance
Women persuade men that they are not idiots and if they are its something they imagine
themselves to be
o Can you open this jar- life depends on whether or not he can open the jar
o Youre so big
Age of anxiety was an age of production (then)
Age of depression (now) is an age of consumption
Comsumption becomes the chief basis of the social order
Consumer objects structure behaviour through linguistic sign function
When depression happens, you buy in order to overcome depression
What is beauty- lets start wondering about it like this- what do people see when they see you
o They say that beauty is what someone else thingks of you
o You have no contro over it other than your performance
o Yoru gona feel like someone following your own performance
o The more she performs (esther) and confrms, the more she feels like she is being put
into a bell jar
Bell jar0- you can see out
o And they can see in but they don’t know your cut off
o Suffocating infront of them without them doing anything
o Felt confiuned suffocated
So yoru a brain (article)
o The fact that you have a brain
o Its good that your are smart, but use that intelligence to put yoru make up
o Intelligence is the most about making your sex appeal
o Yoru general contours are more visib le from a distance than your iq
All the brilliant women working at mademiseelle either fell into depression or became famour