Revisiting Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar as a feminist response to McCarthyism




Women’s literature, Feminist theory, Gender Studies, McCarthyism, Sylvia Plath


The present article introduces a feminist and political analysis of Sylvia Plath’s novel The Bell Jar, considering it a cultural response to McCarthyism. In order to do that, the article focuses on the importance Plath gives to the Rosenberg’s case in the novel and particularly in the relevance Ethel Rosenberg’s death sentence had to awaken a female consciousness for the women of the 1950s in America. The female body turns fundamental for a feminist struggle that Plath creates in the novel to deconstruct the imposed female roles that helped McCarthy control the private lives of the Americans. Sixty years after Plath’s death and its publication, The Bell Jar becomes a fundamental text for understanding contemporary feminist literature.


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How to Cite

Arce Álvarez, María Laura. 2024. “Revisiting Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar As a Feminist Response to McCarthyism”. Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina De Estudios Ingleses, no. 40 (January):43-62.