The Bell Jar is a symbol for the way her insanity and disease makes her feel. She feels like she’s trapped inside it, on display, and unable to connect with people on the outside. No one understands her, and she can’t run away from it. At the end she feels like the jar is lifted, but she can feel it hover over her and might come back and trap her again any time. This means even though she’s cured, it’s temporary, and she might get sick again any day.


The Fig Tree was mentioned early in the book. My interpretation of this is that each fig on the tree represents a life choice. She wants them all and can’t decide. While she sits staring at the tree the figs rot and fall to the ground. This is a metaphor for her life falling apart.


-Jacob

The Headlines
In chapter 16, the headlines are reprinted in the text. Joan (Esther's friend) gives her the actual headlines from articles reprting Esther's dissapearance and attempted suicide.
The headlines symbolizes Esther's exposure, her effect on others and the gap between her interpretation of experiences.

The Beating Heart
When Esther tries to kill her self, her body "refuses" and is determited to live. The beating heart symbolizes her body desire to live. When Esther tries to drown herself, her heart beats "I am, I am, I am", and repeats the same phrase when Esther is attending Joan's funeral.

-Jenny