The Bell Jar is about a young reporter, Esther Greenwood, and her life during an all expenses paid trip to New York in the 1950's.Esther won the month long trip in a fashion magazine, one of only twelve winners.She is jealous of all the rich girls staying at the all female hotel, especially since it is herfirst time out of her humble home in New England.In the presence of all the upper class girls, she feels out of place and unwelcome.
While in New York, Esther meets Doreen, a social butterfly with no definite personality.While on their way to a party, they meet a man by the name of Lenny who invites them to have drinks – they end up bypassing the party.Lenny's friend is obviously into Esther, and Lenny is interested in Doreen.Lenny's friend's feelings are unwanted, and Esther spends most of the night trying to get away from him.Eventually Esther and Doreen are invited to Lenny's house, and Doreen convinces Esther to go with her.As things begin to heat up between Lenny and Doreen, Esther feels out of place and wants to go back to the hotel, but is unable to because of Doreen's insisting that she must stay to stop any "funny business" from ocurring.Eventually, Doreen invites the "funny business" and Esther walks all the way back to her hotel, on the other side of the city.After that night, Esther decides that she won't be close to Doreen and begins to focus her attention on a calmer person with higher goals – Betsy.
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After eating as much as possible at a banquet held by the magazine they're interning for, Esther and Betsy become ill and vomit everywhere until they nearly passed out.When Esther wakes up, she finds out that everyone got food poisoning from the food at the banquet except for Doreen, who was socializing with Lenny at the time.Doreen tells Esther that the crab everyone ate had too much bacteria growing in it.