Just as this novel gives way to feminist discourse and challenges the way of life for women in the s, it also gives a case study of a woman struggling with mental health.
Esther becomes increasingly depressed, and finds herself unable to sleep. Jay Cee claims that Esther wants to be everything, and Esther finally decides to be a poet, but during the shoot Esther breaks down into tears.
Joan takes Esther to the hospital, for she is hemorrhaging. She struggles to write a novel and becomes increasingly despondent, making several half-hearted suicide attempts.
He is a "very well-paid professor of mathematics" and invites Esther to have coffee, which leads to her having sex with him, which leads to Esther having to go to the hospital to get help to stop the bleeding.
Gordon, he suggests to her mother that Esther would benefit from elctro-shock therapy. When I first started reading the book I was a little put off, feeling it was an extremely pretensious novel.