This map plots the settings and references in The Bell Jar

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New York City
New York City skyline, as seen from Ellis Island, Manhattan
Creative Commons AttributionNew York City skyline, as seen from Ellis Island, Manhattan - Credit: William Warby, Flickr

Esther Greenwood's summer is spent in New York City, the most highly populated city in the United States, situated on its north-eastern Atlantic coast.

New York is also the name of the state in which the city is located, and it is customary to distinguish between the two by referring specifically to New York City and New York State.

 

New York City consists of five boroughs: the Bronx; Brooklyn; Manhattan; Queens and Staten Island. Apart from passing references to the Bronx (the site of the Bronx Zoo) and Brooklyn (the location of Coney Island) most of the New York action in The Bell Jar takes place in the borough of Manhattan.

Manhattan is the third largest of the New York boroughs, and the centre of commercial, financial and cultural life in the city. It is the location of many of the places referred to, including Madison Avenue; Bloomingdale's; The Barbizon Hotel for women (lightly disguised as the Amazon); Central Park and the United Nations Building.

 

Central Park, as seen from the top of the Rockefeller Centre
Public DomainCentral Park, as seen from the top of the Rockefeller Centre - Credit: Alfred Hutter, Wikimedia Commons