In: Other Topics

Submitted By eds123
Words 1465
Pages 6
Initial Situation
Esther Greenwood works as an intern at a women's magazine in New York City, but she feels an overwhelming sense of alienation and despair.
As the novel opens, Esther has everything a young woman could want: a dreamy boyfriend; a string of sparkling academic successes; and a cushy job as an intern in a women's magazine, where she gets showered with free stuff and parties. While all of this makes Esther look good on paper, she's terribly unhappy. She doesn't feel personally fulfilled by what she does, and she feels as if no matter what she does or how brightly she shines, society is grooming her to become a docile housewife.
Esther returns home to a Boston suburb for the summer, where her vexed relationship with her mother and her rejection from a summer writing program intensify her feelings of hopelessness.
Back home, Esther feels her worst fears about herself have been confirmed. The rejection from the writing program kills her self-esteem, and she's stuck at home with her mom in the soul-crushing boredom of the suburbs for the rest of the summer.
Esther attempts suicide, but is saved in the nick of time.
As the summer wears on, Esther's behavior grows more erratic as her despair deepens. A visit to a psychiatrist and electroshock therapy only accelerate her decline. After a few hesitant attempts at suicide, Esther decides to end it all by crawling into a hollow underneath her house and swallowing a bottle of sleeping pills. She's discovered a few days later, barely alive.
After her nightmarish experience in the psychiatric wards of two different hospitals, Esther ends up at a private, psychiatric institution where she finds a more supportive environment.
It's touch-and-go for Esther for the first few weeks after her suicide attempt. The first two psychiatric wards do nothing to help her condition. Finally,…...

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