The

Bell

Jar

by Sylvia Plath

So Mrs. Guinea had flown back to Boston and taken me out of the cramped city hospital ward, and now she was driving me to a private hospital that had grounds and golf courses and gardens, like a country club, where she would pay for me, as if I had a scholarship, until the doctors she knew of there had made me well.

My mother told me I should be grateful. She said I had used up almost all her money and if it weren’t for Mrs. Guinea she didn’t know where I’d be. I knew where I’d be though. I’d be in the big state hospital in the country, cheek by jowl to this private place.

I knew I should be grateful to Mrs. Guinea, only I couldn’t feel a thing. If Mrs. Guinea had given me a ticket to Europe, or a round‐the‐world cruise, it wouldn’t have made one scrap of difference to me, because wherever I sat‐‐on the deck of a ship or at a street cafe in Paris or Bangkok‐‐I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air.”

Extract by Sylvia Plath (1963), Chapter 15, Page 458