Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea

1298 Words6 Pages
Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea has developed a character for the depth of time. Antoinette's childhood story of outmost unhappiness, contrasted with her attempt at love, and finally the arrival to her concluded state depicts the single condemnation of her soul. Misguided and unloved, Antoinette is forced to raise herself in a world of fear and hatred. As a young woman, her only happiness is found with nature, her place of peace in the world. Yet when her chance at love arises, Antoinette challenges the very destination of her life and hopes to undo her already doomed demise. However, despite all these downfalls, Antoinette is simplistically understood through her voice of narration; possibly due to her complex view of the world, and her knowingly plausible condition, it forces herself to derive her life into a fragile and untrustworthy state. The voice of a young child is indefinitely touching to the reader's perception of Antoinette. The novel opens to Antoinette's narration of her dissatisfaction with life, conveying her position without a father, a broken down family name, and a mother whose love is beyond passive. Life has changed, as she clearly states, "our garden was large and beautiful as that of the garden in the Bible – the tree of life had grew there. But it had gone wild" (Rhys, 19). She begins to give us a touchstone on her profound new way of existence without her father and his company which served them with much wealth. "Antoinette [continues to] express her longing for the West Indies of her youth; contrasting [her] lifeless and lonely presence among the White English against a vibrant past amount the black... ... middle of paper ... ...h the narration voice of Antoinette. The initial symbol of fire disguised her mother's mental collapse; where as the symbol of passion did so for Antoinette. Ironically enough, the opposites collide in the closing stages, as fire leads to Antoinette's physical demise, and the passion of Annette's consistent sexual abuse leads to hers. Although many place the blame upon the greedy and uncanny English husbands, it is certain that such incapable mental conditions are a dominant trait throughout the family. The theme of fire and passion ignite this story, and engulf Antoinette as a whole. They describe her and contrast her being to that of her mothers. Furthermore, Bertha Mason was more then just an unstable madwoman as Mr. Rochester makes her out to believe; she is Antoinette.
Open Document