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6296Defending virginity

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  • Jill Pond
    Feb 14, 2009
      We have to put ourselves in her time. The hysteria today over child protection to maintain what's left of an illusory sense of "moral order" in postmodernity should not blind us to what Plath might literally mean: before she was 13 she was comfortable with sexual intimacy, but that she made a decision on her own at 13 to do otherwise. What's most important here is Plath's notion that every effort we make to impose order on the world cannot take away the darkness, indifference tinged with sadism, in Nature.

      --- On Mon, 2/9/09, erdedy_2000 <erdedy_2000@...> wrote:
      From: erdedy_2000 <erdedy_2000@...>
      Subject: [sylviaplath] Chapter 19...one small question
      To: sylviaplath@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Monday, February 9, 2009, 11:04 PM

      Hello folks...new to the list.

      Just finished reading The Bell Jar for the first time, and I'm puzzled
      by one small detail in the episode with Irwin in chapter 19.

      Esther says:

      "Ever since I'd learned about the corruption of Buddy Willard my
      virginity weighed like a millstone around my neck. It had been of
      such enormous importance to me to me for so long that my habit was to
      defend it at all costs. I had been defending it for five years and I
      was sick of it."

      My question is, why "five years?" It sounds like there's a definite
      dividing line and yet I can't place the moment/event that made Esther
      *begin* to defend herself? It's a small point, but I've been thinking
      about the story's time-line and I still haven't placed this. Maybe
      I've missed something obvious on my first go through? Any answers or
      opinions would be appreciated.



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