Journal Assignment Two: Analyzing Style in Wide Sargasso Sea
Jean Rhys’ writing style is no doubt one of the unique writing styles in the prose genre. Her book Wide Sargasso Sea epitomizes this writing style and is also regarded as one of her best works. One of the characteristics associated with her writing style is the mode of narration that the book takes on, being narrated by several persons throughout the story. The second part of the book, for example, is narrated by Rochester Antoinette’s husband. The use of Rochester as the narrator in this part allows the reader to view Antoinette and other characters in the book though the eyes of a non-familiar character. Rochester, despite being married to Antoinette, has only known her and her family for a few months, and the environment that they reside in is unfamiliar to him as well. The aspect of using a character unfamiliar to the environment allows the reader to try to connect with the narrator. The reader becomes familiar with the environment at the same time as the narrator, hence both can notice things that would otherwise have gone missing if the author had used a different narrator.
Rhys uses simple language and vocabulary in the novel, avoiding the use of unnecessarily long words. The use of simple language makes the novel more accessible to persons of different levels of education. One does not need to have a great understanding of the English language or contain the highest level of vocabulary so as to read and understand the novel. That is not to say however, that the novel is simplistic in form. Simple language is only meant to make the novel accessible to persons from different parts of the world, and the author ultimately achieved this aim since the no...
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... the two ladies are made all the more agonizing by the implication that the ladies had little to no choice in controlling their destinies. All these are characteristics of a tragedy plot, and although the novel cannot be classified as a tragedy, the connotation is quite clear. It points to the author’s literary maturity since she can successfully embed tragic elements without disturbing the plot or flow of the story.
Jean Rhys writing style is clearly different from that of most authors, and she has proven that she can successfully blend different writing forms to create a masterpiece, such as she accomplished with Wide Sargasso Sea. The effect is a book rich in literary form, yet not so complex in terms of language and vocabulary that it is accessible to almost any mature reader.
Rhys, Jean. Wide Sargasso Sea. New York: Norton & Norton, 1966. Print.
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