In The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, Esther mentions that she drank some water with cherry blossoms in Mrs Guinea’s house and says that “it was only much later, […], that [she] learned what [she] had done”.

What exactly was it that she had done?

1 Answer 1


The water with cherry blossoms was a fingerbowl, intended for a diner to wash their fingers. Drinking the water (and eating the blossoms!) is a social faux pas, as Esther realized subsequently.


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