Review Of ' The Sargasso Sea '

928 Words4 Pages
Antoinette’s initial exposure to exile with her mother and brother forces her to grow up assuming all men are dishonest. Throughout Wide Sargasso Sea, Antoinette clearly has some trust issues. While she initially feels Rochester drawing her in like a moth to the flame, she has second thoughts about marrying him and almost cancels their wedding. Without giving much of a reason, she simply says, “I’m afraid of what may happen” if she were to marry him (Rhys 46). Readers, not left with much context, can easily infer that she is untrusting by Rochester’s next line. He says, “I’ll trust you if you’ll trust me. Is that a bargain?” (Rhys 47). With the promise of peace, Rochester is able to convince Antoinette to marry him; however, he only keeps his peace, Rochester is able to convince Antoinette to marry him; however, he only keeps his “bargain” for a short time. Regrettably, Antoinette faces exile yet again; this time at the hand of the man she loves most, her husband, Edward Rochester (Bronte). What begins as their “sweet honeymoon” (Rhys 60), quickly escalates to a complete rejection on Rochester’s part and a forced madness for Antoinette. Freud’s research implies that “melancholia” occurs when one looses an object (Grigg 144). Perhaps Antoinette’s madness arises from her melancholia; a result of her lost affect from her husband. Rochester no longer shows admirable feelings for Antoinette, and even harbors resentment towards her for their “unhappy” marriage. Russell Grigg states that this is “consistent with abolishing the object’s separate existence” (qtd. 150) as if to suggest that Rochester exiles Antoinette because he wishes to punish her. Sadly, Antoinette’s time with Rochester is nothing but misery as he treats her like a lu... ... middle of paper ... ...her again. For Antoinette’s final exile, Rochester bring her back to his home, Thornfield Hall, where she lives out her days as the “mad woman in the attic.” Lacan proposes that “[t]he subject’s capture by [her] situation gives us the most general formulation of madness-the kind found within the asylum walls as well as the kind that deafens the world with its sound and fury (qtd. Feyaerts and Vanheule 159). The “asylum walls” Antoinette finds herself in are the walls of Thornfield, a place she hoped to share with her husband, but he keeps her hidden. Once his marriage to Antoinette is exposed, his wedding to Jane Eyre cannot continue; however, the church official questions the impediment, “At Thornfield Hall!” ejaculated the clergyman. “Impossible! I am an old resident in this neighbourhood, sir, and I never heard of a Mrs. Rochester at Thornfield Hall”” (Bronte).
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