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Antoinette and Rochester in Wide Sargasso Sea 1. Communication Problems 4.
- Landscape and Character in Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea
- Wide Sargasso Sea
- Rochester and Bertha in "Jane Eyre" and "Wide Sargasso Sea": An Impossible Match
Men were drawn to her brown eyes and full lips and the clear soft complexion of her face, but the contrast with the ravaged flesh below only increased their repulsion when they got closer to her. All except Silas, who seemed to follow her all the time. This ingenious arrangement made it unnecessary to have the tractor in attendance on the second night. It was all so difficult and yet so exquisitely possible and he brooded over it as over a work of art. It was also his homage to Dora and his proof to himself that he was in love.
Landscape and Character in Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea
Rochester's marriage from the point-of-view of his mad wife Antoinette Cosway , a Creole heiress. Antoinette's story is told from the time of her youth in Jamaica , to her unhappy marriage to a certain unnamed English gentleman, who renames her Bertha, declares her mad, takes her to England, and isolates her away from the rest of the world in his mansion.
Antoinette is caught in an oppressive patriarchal society in which she fully belongs neither to Europe nor to Jamaica.
Wide Sargasso Sea explores the power of relationships between men and women and develops postcolonial themes, such as racism, displacement, and assimilation. Rhys lived in obscurity after her previous work, Good Morning, Midnight , was published in She had published other novels between these works, but Wide Sargasso Sea caused a revival of interest in Rhys and her work and was her most commercially successful novel.
The novel, initially set in Jamaica, opens a short while after the Slavery Abolition Act ended slavery in the British Empire on 1 August Part One takes place in Coulibri, a sugar plantation in Jamaica , and is narrated by Antoinette as a child.
Formerly wealthy, since the abolition of slavery, the estate has become derelict and her family has been plunged into poverty. Antoinette's mother, Annette, must remarry to wealthy Englishman Mr. Mason, who is hoping to exploit his new wife's situation.
Angry at the returning prosperity of their oppressors, freed slaves living in Coulibri burn down Annette's house, killing Antoinette's mentally disabled younger brother, Pierre. As Annette had been struggling with her mental health up until this point, the grief of losing her son weakens her sanity. Mason sends her to live with a couple who torment her until she dies, and Antoinette does not see her again. Part Two alternates between the points of view of Antoinette and her husband during their honeymoon excursion to Granbois, Dominica.
Likely catalysts for Antoinette's downfall are the mutual suspicions that develop between the couple, and the machinations of Daniel, who claims he is Antoinette's illegitimate half-brother; he impugns Antoinette's reputation and mental state and demands money to keep quiet.
Antoinette's old nurse Christophine openly distrusts the Englishman. His apparent belief in the stories about Antoinette's family and past aggravate the situation; her husband is unfaithful and emotionally abusive. He begins to call her Bertha rather than her real name and flaunts his affairs in front of her to cause her pain. Antoinette's increased sense of paranoia and the bitter disappointment of her failing marriage unbalance her already precarious mental and emotional state.
She flees to the house of Christophine, the servant woman who raised her. Antoinette pleads with Christophine for an obeah potion to attempt to reignite her husband's love, which Christophine reluctantly gives her. Antoinette returns home but the love potion acts like a poison on her husband. Subsequently he refuses Christophine's offer of help for his wife and takes her to England.
Part Three is the shortest part of the novel; it is from the perspective of Antoinette, renamed by her husband as Bertha. She is largely confined to "the attic" of Thornfield Hall , the mansion she calls the "Great House". The story traces her relationship with Grace Poole, the servant who is tasked with guarding her, as well as her disintegrating life with the Englishman, as he hides her from the world.
He makes empty promises to come to her more but sees less of her. He ventures away to pursue relationships with other women—and eventually with the young governess. Antoinette is clearly mad and has little understanding of how much time she has been confined. She fixates on options of freedom including her stepbrother Richard who, however, will not interfere with her husband, so she attacks him with a stolen knife.
Expressing her thoughts in stream of consciousness , Antoinette dreams of flames engulfing the house and her freedom from the life she has there, and believes it is her destiny to fulfill the vision.
Waking from her dream she escapes her room, and sets the fire. Since the late 20th century, critics have considered Wide Sargasso Sea as a postcolonial response to Jane Eyre. In addition, Rhys makes a postcolonial argument when she ties Antoinette's husband's eventual rejection of Antoinette to her Creole heritage a rejection shown to be critical to Antoinette's descent into madness.
The novel is also considered a feminist work, as it deals with unequal power between men and women, particularly in marriage. Antoinette and her family had been slave owners up until the Slavery Abolition Act and subsequently lost their wealth. They are called " white nigger " by the Island's black inhabitants because of their poverty and are openly despised. Rochester, as an Englishman, looks down on Antoinette because she is a Creole. Antoinette is not English and yet her family history reflects her as a white woman.
Lee Erwin describes this paradox through the scene in which Antoinette's first house is burned down and she runs to Tia, a black girl her own age, to "be like her". Antoinette is rebuffed by violence from Tia, leading to her seeing Tia "as if I saw myself. Like in a looking glass". Erwin argues that "even as she claims to be seeing "herself," she is simultaneously seeing "the other", that which only defines the self by its separation from it, in this case literally by means of a cut. History here, in the person of a former slave's daughter, is figured as refusing Antoinette", the daughter of a slave owner.
In Wide Sargasso Sea , Rhys draws attention to colonialism and the slave trade by which Antoinette's ancestors had made their fortune. Trevor Hope remarks that the "triumphant conflagration of Thornfield Hall in Wide Sargasso Sea may at one level mark a vengeful attack upon the earlier textual structure". The destruction of Thornfield Hall occurs in both novels; however, Rhys epitomises the fire as a liberating experience for Antoinette.
If Thornfield Hall represents domestic ideas of Britishness, then Hope suggests Wide Sargasso Sea is "taking residence inside the textual domicile of empire in order to bring about its disintegration or even, indeed, its conflagration. Rhys' editor Diana Athill discusses the events surrounding the publication of the book in her memoir.
The book came out of a friendship between Rhys and Selma Vaz Dias who encouraged her to start writing again. At the time, Rhys was living in a shack made of corrugated iron and tar paper in a slum neighborhood of Cheriton Fitzpaine. The book was virtually completed in November when Rhys, who was 74 years old and complained of the cold and rain in her shack, suffered a heart attack. Athill cared for Rhys in the hospital for two years, keeping a promise not to publish the book until Rhys was well enough to compile the manuscript and add a few final lines.
The income from the book provided enough money for Rhys to improve her living conditions. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Wide Sargasso Sea disambiguation. Dewey Decimal. Archived from the original on 28 September Retrieved 2 January Archived from the original on 16 December Novel: A Forum on Fiction. College Literature. Stet: a memoir. BBC News. Retrieved 10 November The reveal kickstarts the BBC's year-long celebration of literature.
Retrieved 28 October Jane Eyre Bertha Mason. Thornfield Hall. The Master of Thornfield Jane Eyre musical. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history.
Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. First edition cover. Jamaica , Dominica and Thornfield Hall , s—40s. Norton US.
Wide Sargasso Sea
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Rochester and Bertha in "Jane Eyre" and "Wide Sargasso Sea": An Impossible Match
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Rochester's marriage from the point-of-view of his mad wife Antoinette Cosway , a Creole heiress. Antoinette's story is told from the time of her youth in Jamaica , to her unhappy marriage to a certain unnamed English gentleman, who renames her Bertha, declares her mad, takes her to England, and isolates her away from the rest of the world in his mansion. Antoinette is caught in an oppressive patriarchal society in which she fully belongs neither to Europe nor to Jamaica. Wide Sargasso Sea explores the power of relationships between men and women and develops postcolonial themes, such as racism, displacement, and assimilation.
Textual Politics from Slavery to Postcolonialism pp Cite as. I can see it all up to a point. I mean a man might come to England with a crazy wife. He might leave her in charge of a housekeeper and a nurse and dash away to Europe. She might be treated far more harshly than he knows and so get madder and madder.
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Technologies of Memory in the Arts pp Cite as. After four years, he has at last voiced what was on his mind and hovering, as it were, above his head. Rochester is a wealthy Englishman who hires Jane Eyre to look after his protegee child at Thornfield Hall. He falls in love with her, but their marriage is prevented when Jane discovers that Rochester is already married to Bertha Mason. Eventually, Jane returns to Rochester. Unable to display preview.
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