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Robin Peel explains the resonance of the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in The Bell Jar. As the event fades into history, its extraordinary impact on 1950s American psychology can easily be forgotten. The electrocution of the Rosenbergs for espionage is important to Plath’s novel because of the resonance of their Jewishness, insider/outsider status and apparent vindication of Cold War paranoia. In addition, Peel reads the event from a retrospective and transatlantic perspective. The thirty year old adult woman writing in the persona of senior student mirrors the simultaneous political engagement and distancing that has troubled so many readers.