September 2017

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath Is Amazing

The bell jar by Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath was recommended to me many years ago, but I never thought to pick it up. Truth is, I thought it was famous because the author killed herself. Part of me also thought it was a girl’s book, in the sense that it written for a female audience.

Recently, I was ordering books on Amazon and decided to get this one as well. These days I have an affinity for books about unsavoury and troubled people. So, the tumultuous life of the author and her death made it more interesting.

Troubled people tend to be fascinating. Troubled life isn’t usually as boring as a normal life, which is why they inspire books. The idiosyncrasies of people’s lives are what draws me to books like The Bell Jar.

In the beginning, the book starts out slow and whiny. I get the sense that Plath is using it as an opportunity to get some things off her chest.

Some of the problems she talks about, I can’t relate to. My bias, as a guy, I don’t have the experiences of a woman. Especially the problems Esther seems to have.

The second half of The Bell Jar

The book gets better around the half waypoint. Esther’s real problems start to show, and this is where the book gets interesting. The pace speeds up and I was much more engaged and focused on reading. The second half took half the time it took to read the first half.

Esther’s life is changing from normal too chaotic. The struggles of a student, turn into the struggles of someone with severe depression. At this point, it is much deeper into her life than you’d expect from earlier in the novel.

I won’t go into any more details because it is definitely worth reading. For anyone interested in depression, people, and well-written books.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath Is Amazing

I particularly noticed the quality of the writing. But don’t take that lightly, any published book must be good, so this was a step above many others. Also, at times there is a sense of poetry in the words that shines through.

There is an urgency that comes along with it. This could be the author’s emotion on the page, or the connection I made with the character, either way, it is strong.

This book gave me a perspective on the experiences of women that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. When I say this, I mean it was insightful beyond what I’d expect to get out of a book.

The back cover says, “Celebrated for its darkly funny and razor-sharp portrait of a society which refuses to take women’s aspirations seriously.” When I first saw this I didn’t believe it, but the book has proven me wrong.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath is an amazing book that is well worth reading. I recommend it for the quality of writing and insights into the world of women and depression.


The Potential Future With Virtual Reality

virtual reality

The men, women, and children of the new world live in their VR’s. This is where they see what there is to see and know what there is to know. What they want, is usually something they can download.

In the evacuated suburbs, some people still live. These people are different, they’ve been enlightened to the evils of computers. They see computers as the weapon that the enemy uses to fight.

Reality has become something different.

Small communities developed around giant greenhouses. Others grew in the areas that had the right growing conditions. These communities grew in surprising places given the conditions before the event. But it often came down to temperatures and groundwater supplies.

Water became the ultimate resource, it is now difficult to find. Carbon dioxide accumulation destroyed the surface water, even to the surprise of scientists. Drinkable water now only comes from wells. Outside of the city, water doesn’t even come out of the taps.

In the city water is shipped and distributed on a first come first serve basis. This usually means long lines and limited supply. The rich can order water from suppliers, but the cost is prohibitive for everyone else. Private clubs always have water, but their supply bypasses everyone else.

People connect more than ever before, but only through the internet. No one drives cars anymore, it is too expensive and impractical. Most people don’t do things anymore, they are always hooked up to their VR sets.

Old fashion computers are only in the out skirts of reality, in business towers and on estates. Regular people have forgotten how to use them, so they are no longer needed. Computer programming is a thing of the past, AI has taken over it and almost everything else.

Food looks like styrofoam, it is unnatural in every way.

People don’t eat it, they just swallowed it, it’s pre-chewed. This is all there is to eat unless you have a million dollars to travel to a place that still has real food.

Automated life made people zombies, they wander the streets if they don’t have a VR. Everyone else is locked inside, this is the new world. Digital became real and real became digital.

There are those who try to reach the farms. But they are few and far between. They usually don’t come back, but no one knows what happens to them. It is impossible to know any other type of living.

Squatter societies develop, they occupy regions overnight. Government regulators foreclose buildings, and they are condemned. The original tenants are removed, days later the apartments are full with squatters. People wonder if the government does this on purpose.

There is never a war, but there are always battles. It is hard to know if they are real, but no one even cares to look outside anymore. No one cares about anything, life is easy if you stay in VR.

Technology gave people the dream that life would be better, but it turned into a nightmare.