Free Study Guide for The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath BookNotes|
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The first time Buddy kissed her was at the Yale Junior Prom. She had been surprised when Buddy had told her that he would come by to see her at her dormitory. He usually only exchanged polite greetings with her at church when they were home for holidays. Their mothers were good friends, having gone to school together and married their professors. After this visit, she didnít hear from him until one day when she was in her room studying. The hall phone rang and the seniors on her floor made her answer it all the time since she was a freshman. It was someone telling her that a man was downstairs waiting for her. She was very surprised because although she had endured many blind dates that year, none had called her for a second date. She found Buddy Willard waiting for her downstairs saying he had just come to say hello. He was only there for a date with another woman named Joan Gilling, also from their home town. Buddy said Joan had asked him and had also asked her mother to ask his mother to ask him to take her. Esther lied and said she has a date coming at any minute. Buddy got jealous and left. First, he gave her a letter.
After he left she opened it and found it was an invitation to the Yale Junior Prom. She jumped up and down in excitement and ran in and hugged the senior on watch inside the dorm. After that, the seniors treated her better. At the Junior Prom, Buddy treated her as a friend rather than a date. On their way to her room, he suggested they go to the chemistry lab. It had a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside. There, Buddy kissed her and stepped back exclaiming, "Wow!" During the kiss, she kept her eyes open and tries to memorize the spacing of the lights so as not to forget them. Then she thought it is too bad they both had chapped lips. Buddy, however felt terrific kissing her. He asked her if she went out with a lot of boys and she agreed that she did. He told her he thinks he can manage to see her every third weekend. Esther acted nonchalant but couldnít wait to get back to her dorm so she could tell everyone. The next fall, Buddy won a scholarship to medical school. She went to see him there and thatís when she found out he was a hypocrite.
Estherís romance with Buddy Willard is anything but thrilling. For her part, her main interest in him seems to come out of the expectations of others. He is the rising star of her home town and she doesnít recognize that she is as well. The other women in her dorm measure her worth solely by her ability to get and keep a man. Acquiring Buddy Willard is only useful for winning a place in the esteem of her dorm mates. For his part, Buddy is quite self-involved, so focused on his schooling and saving money, that he can only fit Esther in when convenient. He only becomes interested in her when she says she is dating. Her interest for him seems to be that she is a sought after commodity of sorts.
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. 09 May 2017