A great deal of the novel concerns with the expectations that others have for Esther with regards to behaviour and her future, as well as the expectations that Esther has for other. This is most explict in the societal expectations that Esther feels concerning decisions about possible career and family.
Sylvia’s surface perfection was however underlain by grave personal discontinuities, some of wich doubtless had theier origin in the death of her father (he was a college professor and an expert on bess) when she was eight. During the summer following her junior year at Smith, having returned from a stay in New York citi where she had been a student “guest editor” at mademoiselle Magazine, Sylvia nearly succeeded in killing herself by swallowing sleeping pills. she later described this experience in an autobiographical novel, The BEll Jar, published in 1963.After a period of recovery involving eletroshock and psychotherapy Sylvia resumed her pursuit of academic and literary succes, graduating from Smith summa cum laude in 1955 and winning a Fulbright scholarship to study at Cambridge, England.