The most arresting piece of imagery in the book The Bell Jar written by Silvia Plath is that of the fig tree where the main character visualises the tree ripe with sexual symbolism, as a tree of choices, each fig representing a different role. One is a husband and happy home and children, another a famous poet, or an amazing editor. She believes that she can only take one fig and sees herself sitting at the crotch of this fig tree starving to death, saying I wanted each and every one of them but if I choose one it meant losing all the rest.
The book is as relevant today as it was then. Nearly every young person can relate to the fig tree, the horrible suffocating feeling of indecision, the sense that every choice you make for the future means giving up at least 10 others. The knowledge that you can only move forward and that if you choose the wrong fig the right fig might fall before you get it.