Progression From Youth to Adulthood: The PredicamentWhile very captivating, young adulthood brings with it many critical decisions; from where to live to what to study, to what you hope to be and accomplish in life before time is up. Mental illness compounds this already precarious time when young people are marginalized by peers, and are demanded to conform to standards appointed by society. If standards by society are not acquired, one reaching adulthood may face resentment. Downfall is portrayed due to the of lack of counseling by surroundings, and how society frowns upon adolescents who develop such unusual deemed attributes. Disregarding of the venerable can lead to additional tragic consequences, as an adolescent who has no positive moral support. Through these pieces of work, one can conclude how adolescents become alienated in society, trying to achieve a set of expectations brought upon by society. It can be argued that these works have very similar conventions. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, David Karp’s Speaking of Sadness, and the film A Beautiful Mind explore the ways in which the mentally ill are impacted by absent social supports, particularly in adolescence; ultimately demonstrating that with community engagement, proper social ties, all individuals have the ability to become prosperous establishing themselves. Sylvia Plath demonstrates these values in her novel, through the main character Esther Greenwood. Novel “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath depicts a negative impact on mental wellbeing, due to lack of moral support or social ties within the character. Due to the lack of a proper support system from her friends, and a constant underlying battle against her own abilities, main character Esther Greenwood falls onto a downward path throughout the novel. Acknowledging the distinction between herself and her friends, Esther Greenwood fails to find identity, purpose, and meaning without any support of her peers. Esther Greenwood is similar to the author Sylvia Plath in reality, as she also went through turbulent times prior to her death. This enables the reader to understand both the character and the author in a critical manner. Esther Greenwood’s failure to cope with daily life and social pressures bring her down into a world of spiraling depression. Esther’s desire to be someone else makes her question self-identity. Spending most time criticizing others’s actions, she longs to be perfect, thus she wants to be like her peers, everyone but herself. This relates back to Esther’s friends, leaving a negative image on her. Esther’s desire to be worryless and a risk taker is stirred by the character of Doreen. Doreen is pretentious, colourful, and lived a more comprehensive life, unlike Esther. Esther’s downfall begins with the differences between themselves and no positive influences. She is Esther’s exact opposite, her unruly counterpart. This is evident when Esther indicates that “Doreen had intuition. Everything she said was like a voice speaking straight out of my own bones” (Plath 7). This quote refers to a personal comparison, between differences. Esther longs to have no imperfections and be as knowledgeable as Jay Cee. Jay Cee is just another character Esther is eager to acquire. To be successful and established is exactly what Esther has been working all her life for. It is evident that Esther is searching for herself in other characters. She believes that friend Betsy is more like her. Esther is not able to make decisions for herself, and have a good role model. This results in her incorporating the different identities of the characters that surround her and does not establish one specific identity for herself, one that she can abide by and be comfortable with. Esther struggles to find a place and be self-motivated, she longs for acceptance not only from her peers, but also of herself. Esther feels that no matter where she goes or who she is, she is always in the misery of her own mind. “Wherever I sat on the deck of a ship or a street café in Paris or Bangkok I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar stewing in my own sour air” (Plath 185). This quotation introduces the main symbol of the bell jar into the novel. The bell jar is a symbol for being trapped in a hostile environment, and not being able to escape the madness surrounding her life or reach for help. Esther explains that regardless of location, she exists in the “hell” of her own mind. She is trapped inside herself. The madness separates her from the people she should care about. Esther’s suicidal urges come from this sense of constant unhealthy isolation. Esther can no longer escape from her unhappiness. Jay Cee has forced her to take a good look at herself, and what she sees scares her. She retreats more within herself. The reader tends to sympathize with Esther. We all at one time have felt that we just did not quite fit in. Esther tries to adjust herself to those that surround her by taking in the different personalities, trying to find the right one, that could be hers. If we allow those that surround us to decide who we are we lose the power to define, judge, and to respect ourselves. Depression has caused Esther to doubt herself and the world around her. She attempts suicide and is put in a mental facility. With no support in the mental facility, she is dispatched but only to become worse. The novel is more than a story of attempted suicide. It is a novel that inspires renovation and originality in mind and spirit. Esther contemplates suicide. Ignoring of the mentally ill can lead to such dangers. Social ties provide the values of friendship. Proper friendship helps one meet needs such as belonging and appreciation for each other, not evident in The Bell Jar. Esther Greenwood explains how complicated her life is through this turbulent period of reaching adulthood, trying to find her true objective in life and establishment. The first main idea, relates to a negative impact in the Bell Jar. In the “Bell Jar” the lack of proper social supports, guidance from her peers and no path to follow results in a negative impact on Esther, a tragic downfall nearly costing her own life. The novel “Speaking of Sadness” by author David A. Karp also expresses the same themes of present or absent social supports and mental wellbeing. Also based on a true story, sociologist David Karp suffers from depression. David Karp explains how he felt a divide between these two parts of his life; the academic part, and the social part. David did not seem to fit in. Regardless of his experience, success and achievements, he was still depressed most of the time. Novel “Speaking of Sadness” is also a negative impact that relates to Sylvia Plath’s the Bell Jar, due to lack of present social supports present to help. “The Two central feelings typifying my depression were frantic anxiety and a sense of grief. These feelings coupled to generate a sort catastrophic thinking about events in my life as concrete as next days lecture and as amorphous as the quality of my relationship.” (Karp 7) Throughout Chapter One Karp links his progressing depression to feelings of isolation and complete loneliness. Without the proper help from peers. Through this piece of text, it is important to understand there comes a point in some people’s’ lives where social isolation, sadness, low self-esteem, and the feeling of hopeless take over. What the reader can pull from either texts is that a negative outcome of mental health decline has taken place. Society has put forward certain standards to follow, without freedom. The difference is, David Karp has been mainly focused on the education aspect of his life, an unhealthy bias. “I get out of my bed and take down the mirror. I put it back in my closet, facing the wall”. (6.11) This quote, in Speaking of Sadness refers to a deep indication of sadness, evident in the main character. Not being able to look at one’s own image in the mirror is also an indication of a skewed self image. Also, the following quote by David “I close my eyes, this is what I’ve been dreading. As we leave the last stop, I am the only person sitting alone”. (1.3) Isolation is a major theme within the two novels. It progresses as normal, however continues to become worse until the stage of depression is reached. Denial, social values, ties and connections are the culprit. In the worst case scenario, violence could also be a consequence of not taking care of one’s health, resulting in aggression towards others. Accordingly, this example of lack of social supports present. One negative impact, very similar to The Bell Jar.As many negative attributes are covered, it is important to encompass a positive outcome, unlike the two negative circumstances mentioned previously. “A Beautiful Mind” depicts a positive outcome of mental health, when treated properly and given assistance. The motion picture follows main character John Nash’s struggle with schizophrenia. From the beginning of John developing schizophrenia, to him not being aware, to the point where Nash and his wife find a way to manage and analyse his condition, and get back on track. The movie provides correct insight into the psychological condition of schizophrenia, including mental illness, the treatment and cures. Throughout the movie, the life of the individual and the individual’s family environment is embodied. This piece of work plays an important role disproving the negative stigma behind mental illness and recovery. The movie perpetuates how over time, with proper council and support from peers, one can possibly move on and progress a normal life. The movie does an excellent job showcasing the effort that wife Alicia had as she tries to help her husband seek treatment and recover from the disease. This mutual guidance is entirely opposite to the support Esther Greenwood and David Karp had. Accordingly, John Nash showed considerable change in the way he was functioning through the movie. “Classes will dull your mind, destroy the potential for authentic creativity.” (A Beautiful Mind, Nash) This quote best describes the change of mind state for John Nash. John is beginning to recover slowly, with the help of his wife and university friends. After society understood his situation, they tried to help him overcome his problems. Social ties always make a difference. In conclusion, Depression is defined as illness where feelings of negativity interfere with a adolescent’s ability to function properly. There comes a critical point, usually in coming of age where social isolation, low energy, sadness, low self-esteem, and the feeling of hopelessness, cannot be handled. The feelings are so strong and persistent, that the victim becomes severely unhappy, which can then result in depression. Among young adults, this possibility is more likely. The average teenager has four classes, two hours of homework a night, one or more extra curricular activity, and parental pressure. Parental expectations and society’s pressure is the root to most problems. The Bell Jar, Speaking of Sadness, and the film A Beautiful Mind explore how the mentally ill are impacted by absent social supports, particularly in adolescence; ultimately demonstrating that with community engagement, proper social ties, all individuals have the ability to become prosperous establishing themselves. Some may argue mental conditions are permanent however, it is evident surroundings can shape a person in many ways conceivable. One common saying would be you are who your friends are. The information mentioned has proved a positive outcome is always possible. It is important to consider this subject as many find it difficult to comprehend. Many are more emotionally fragile than others. For most people, searching for one’s true self image or identity can be a lifelong journey. Bibliography:”A Beautiful Mind.” Universal Studios, 2001.Karp, David A. Speaking of Sadness: Depression, Disconnection, and the Meanings of Illness. Oxford University Press, 2017.Plath, Sylvia. The Bell Jar. Bantam Books, 1988.