The excerpt from the novel The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath does not provide us with the exact time setting of the events, but after the reading the entire novel we find out that it focuses on events set about a decade before the time of publishing, in the 1950s.

Time setting

Note that the events depicted in the excerpt found in your textbook spread over the course of a little more than an hour,...


Physical setting

The main physical setting found in your excerpt is Doctor Gordon’s office, depicted as follows:

Doctor Gordon’s waiting room was hushed and beige. The walls were beige, and the carpets were beige, and the upholstered chairs and sofas were beige. There were no mirrors or pictures, only certificates from different medical schools (…) Pale green loopy ferns and spiked leaves...


Social setting

The social setting is mostly hinted at through the way Esther interacts with Doctor Gordon and her mother. 

Doctor Gordon’s presence and the way he treats Esther hints at a society in which some people do not take their job seriously, and implicitly her mental problem, and only think about financial gains.


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