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In her famous poem “Daddy,” Sylvia Plath writes:
At twenty I tried to die
and get back to you
I thought even the bones
would do…
In THE BELL JAR, just before Esther crawls into the dark space in the basement and swallows the sleeping pills, she visits her father’s grave where she howls with her face on his stone, and then goes back home and proceeds with her most serious attempt at dying.
Some losses are so great that sometimes the living long to join the dead in the earth’s layers. In real life, Sylvia Plath’s mother didn’t allow her to go to her father’s funeral. She was eight years old at time of her father’s death. In THE BELL JAR, Esther mentions she never cried or properly mourned her father’s death. Do you think we are too sheltered from this dark side of life? Is the weight too much to bear if we never really confront it? Loss may not be visible on the surface but perhaps it muscles its way into our cells, nudging the nourishing nuclei out of the center and there it sits in each unit like a dark eye. How do you deal with loss? How do you mourn? Do you wrestle with mortality? Please answer all questions. Be honest and detailed. 500 words or more.

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