Quotes

The Bell Jar Quotes

I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked.

If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.

The trouble was, I had been inadequate all along, I simply hadn’t thought about it.

I didn’t know why I was going to cry, but I knew that if anybody spoke to me or looked at me too closely the tears would fly out of my eyes and the sobs would fly out of my throat and I’d cry for a week.

The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.

I wanted to be where nobody I knew could ever come.

I wanted to crawl in between those black lines of print, the way you crawl through a fence, and go straight to sleep between the pages of a book.

I felt wise and cynical as all hell.

I felt very low that day, just like a load of Ozymandias.

I was supposed to be having the time of my life.

I hate handing over my little nest egg instead of supplying it myself.

I kept hearing people say that being pretty shouldn’t be a girls only goal.

I slandered Aunt Libby’s five-weeks-old fetus.

It’s my only talent. The trouble is, I don’t know if I should cultivate it or try to sell it.

In June I decided the only thing left was to kill myself.

I felt a deep shock, hearing myself say that, because the minute I said it, I knew it was true.

I would still be sitting there in the dim light, carving out the different food groups in wax.

As I listened to the old year die, and the new year be born, I knew that everyone else in the room had thought about another year passing: ‘Maybe this will be the year I’m not the littlest. Maybe this will be the year I bake an apple pie.’ And so on.

The cabbages weighed more. Beating time was the drying of the last washed dish.

I was afraid, afraid of getting stuck in a whirlpool, of missing something important, so I walked.

It hung in my clothes closet for a while, like a certain person who’d avoided me for years and then hung around, punishing me like creaky hinges.

I felt now that all the uncomfortable suspicions I had about myself were coming true, and I couldn’t hide the truth much longer.

I thought it sounded just like the sort of drug a man would invent. Here was the very first mouthwash, guaranteed not only to kill the smell of grease, onions, or whiskey but to obliterate all the bad hours that came before and after for just one dollar a quart.

I attached no glory to my growing list of published scholarship, though the money had come in handy for my Keep Joan Sane project.

I wasn’t hallucinating; I didn’t imagine the fire. I couldn’t have because somebody else ran after the dog and threw a coat over the flames, and then the rest of the guests joined in.

I wondered glibly if I would spend the rest of my life in the loony bin and concentrated on what the others were saying.

Then I felt like I was carrying them down myself.

I first saw the glaciers when we turned a corner in the road and came on them unexpectedly.

Everywhere I looked, there were signs of change.

To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream.

Your life is your life, but someday it will hit you harder than others.

If only I could let down the drawbridge and walk over to across the wall to whatever was there, wherever it was.

I decided that I would probably never be really happy, but that that didn’t matter.

I wished I had died before I ever loved anyone but her.

She knew something would go wrong someday, but she had protected herself by never wanting anything bright or sad.

I didn’t know what I was waiting for. Maybe I thought one doorway would lead me straight into another, larger room.

No voice at all. I had a voice once, a long time ago, when I used to go to school.

I couldn’t make my mind up whether I wanted to be with a real man who would surely involve me in a mess or with the idea of a man, safe and strong and clean, like the vision of someone else’s life.

I wished I was on my way to my hotel in New York so I could crawl into bed and cry.

I couldn’t see the morning hard past my dusty window-blind.

It was my first big production and I was terrified. The most terrifying part was COAST it was sitting in that booth.

I expected a silent backstage lice the theater.

I felt like crying, only nothing came out. It was awful.

I made a point of driving along the coast whenever was possible.

We used to love wearing a sweatshirt and faded jeans.

I was a wino from way back; I thought the action almost every sailors and got a little glow inside.

I turned out the light and went to sleep with the statue of the slobbering abominable snowman on the floor next to me.

I had been expelled from college. I had been dismissed from the hospital. I had been referred from the contact lens place.

Tomorrow I would call Jay Cee and get that doctor’s number; try for that john’s phone number.


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