Essay on Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea

Essay on Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea

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Wide Sargasso Sea

The Creoles in Wide Sargasso Sea are outcasts. They live with a divided identity and distance from the world. After the death of Antoinette’s father their behavior nearly causes their entire world to crumble. The family suffers greatly due to their distance from the rest of the world. The purpose of this paper is to show you the family’s divided identities and how it effects their everyday life, along with the consequences that follow.
Antoinette, the main character and the daughter of ex-slave owners, is a far cry from rational and self-restrained. Antoinette is a sensitive and lonely young Creole girl who grows up without the love of her mother and peers friendship. Left mainly to her own devices as a child, Antoinette turns inward, finding that the world can be both peaceful and frightening. In school as a young girl, Antoinette becomes increasingly isolated, showing the first signs of her inherited emotional instability.
Her arranged marriage pains her, and she tries to call it off, feeling intuitively that she will be hurt. Undeniably, the marriage is an incompatibility of culture and custom. She and her English husband, Mr. Rochester, fail to relate to one another; and her past deeds, specifically her childhood relationship with a half-caste brother, sullies her husband's view of her. Ultimately, her husband brings her to England and locks her in the attic, assigning a servant woman to watch over her.
In Antoinette we see the potential dangers of a wild imagination and an acute sensitivity. Her restlessness and instability seem to come from her failure to belong to any individual community. An outcast within her own family, a "white cockroach" to her disrespectful servants, and a quirk in the eyes o...


... middle of paper ...


...Antoinette has various divided identities and by reviewing the characters as I have above, you can see where those identities come from. Each character effects Antoinette individually in the ways that they treat, care, and behave towards her. Learning from each of these characters they help shape Antoinette’s divided identities with their own equally divided identities.

Works Cited
Rhys, Jean. Wide Sargasso Sea . New York: Walace Literary Agency, Inc., 1999.
Team, Shmoop Editorial. Character Analysis. 11 November 2008. 30 April 2014. .
Wide Sargasso Sea. n.d. 1 May 2014. .
Wide Sargasso Sea: Overall Analysis. 15 May 2008. 29 April 2014. .

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