Our holiday food splurge was a small crate of tangerines, which we found ridiculously thrilling after an eight-month abstinence from citrus.... Lily hugged each one to her chest before undressing it as gently as a doll. Watching her do that as she sat cross-legged on the floor one morning in pink pajamas, with bliss lighting her cheeks, I thought: Lucky is the world, to receive this grateful child. Value is not made of money, but a tender balance of expectation and longing.
The moment in The Bell Jar when Esther Greenwood realizes after thirty days in the same black turtleneck that she never wants to wash her hair again, that the repeated necessity of the act is too much trouble, that she wants to do it once and be done with it, seems like the book's true epiphany. You know you've completely descended into madness when the matter of shampoo has ascended into philosophical heights.