The Bell Jar Sandwich

The Demon Breaderick has run off with Ol' Matty's Kilimanjaro Sandwich, severing our hero's hand and hope in the process. In his despair, Ol' Matty finds an understanding voice in Sylvia Plath's "The Bell Jar", a hearty and heartfelt coming of age story about growth through pain and suffering.

Published in 1963, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath is Ol' Matty's only hope for survival as he lies desolate and bereft in the catacombs that may well soon become his own tomb. Breaderick, eating the Snows of Kilimanjaro sandwich, has also taken Ol' Matty's hand and his spirit. The bastard.

It is both a blessing and a curse that The Bell Jar was so rich for analysis and such a challenge to translate into ingredients on every complex layer. Indeed, so raw and intense it was, that Ol' Matty tried to "DiCaprio my liver", in hopes for an accurate bloody sandwich and an Oscar to beat Breaderick to death with. So, yeah. He's mad. In every sense of the word.

Now venturing beyond the comfortable shores of his Isle of Hemingway, Ol' Matty uses both his Pinky and his Brain, and a variety of sources, to tear into bread (Background), meat/meat-substitute (Story), cheese (Characters), sauce (Themes) and seasoning (final thoughts/feelings), and amazingly managed to incorporate a vegetable. My boy's growing up. Should have had a demon eat his hand and steal his lunch a long time ago.

The Bell Jar is the only novel written by the American writer and poet Sylvia Plath. Originally published under the pseudonym "Victoria Lucas" in 1963, the novel is semi-autobiographical, with the names of places and people changed. Nevertheless, it rings so earnestly it's like having stolen into her most personal journals. The book is often regarded as a roman à clef because the protagonist's descent into mental illness parallels Plath's own experiences with what may have been clinical depression or bipolar II disorder. Plath died by suicide a month after its first UK publication (believing her novel a failure due to its lukewarm initial reception). The novel was published under Plath's name for the first time in 1967 and was not published in the United States until 1971, in accordance with the wishes of both Plath's husband, Ted Hughes, and her mother.

In a way, it's a psychological journey to Hell and back, how Esther loses her mind, soul and identity and then through a personal odyssey filled with blood, lightning and ghosts from her past returns from the darkest depths unto a new dawn. No, Ol' Matty, that doesn't mean demon meat is the ideal meat for this either. GIVE UP THIS QUEST FOR VENGEANCE ELSE IT DESTROY YOU, MY FRIEND!

Love stories? Love hearing about the tales of old with Ol' Matty but want to know them yourself? Want to join the Book Club Sandwich but don't have the time or desire to sit down and read? Well, you nit, check out Audible, where you can drive to your destination and faraway lands all at once. P.S. Audible, please sponsor me.

Ol' Matty listened to The Bell Jar through Audible upon his first reading, performed absolutely perfectly by Maggie Gyllenhaal. Would recommend completely, and indeed found that he preferred her voice to his own damn eyeballs.

A none too impressive adaptation was made in 1979, and Kirsten Dunst hopes to make her directorial debut with her own adaption soon. I for one welcome this heartily, oft believing Dunst has an untapped, incredible dramatic calibre that's just enough to take on this most colossal of challenges.

Until next time, my Quixotes! Tuesday week Ol' Matty and his new arch-nemesis, the demon Breaderick, shall return with a metamorphosis and analysis of Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth.

Ol' Matty doesn't have a literature degree, but he does read a lot:

For wanting to look more into the bulk of this analysis, refer to:

And for more on this episode's news and recommendations:

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