Alexandra Novoa

Document Type

Honors Thesis


As of late, Marxist-Feminist critics read Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar as an economic text in line with a second-wave feminist agenda. This thesis concedes in reading the novel as economic text, but it will argue that The Bell Jar discloses sentiments more characteristic of a third-wave feminist perspective. The novel discloses said sentiments by mimicking the poetics of 1950s advertisements and the rhetoric of Mademoiselle magazine articles. Both forms rely on descriptive tropes that mirror the ways companies sell products to women, which allows Plath to channel the voice of consumption as she comments on the deceptive molds set in place in for women. In conclusion, the novel unveils a defective careerist ideal of equal importance to the devalued domestic.

Publication Date






To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.