Jean Rhys' Use of Conflicting Narratives of Antoinette and Rochester in Wide Sargasso Sea

Jean Rhys' Use of Conflicting Narratives of Antoinette and Rochester in Wide Sargasso Sea

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Jean Rhys' Use of Conflicting Narratives of Antoinette and Rochester in "Wide Sargasso Sea"


There are many techniques Jean Rhys uses to bring across the point
that the narrators are unreliable and the truth twisted, it is an
interesting and effective idea as it makes the reader feel confused on
who to trust and really involves them in the book, they become party
to the secrets.

Rhys’ book is so complex as it is obviously linked to the Classic
book- ‘Jane Eyre’; this is classic English literature and therefore is
always in our minds during WSS. Those that have read ‘Jane Eyre’
normally like to trust Jane as she is a heroine who we have sympathy
for; we are introduced to her from when she is young so we know and
understand her and how she behaves. Also in ‘Jane Eyre’, Mr.Rochester
comes across very innocent, you believe he is trustworthy and that he
loves Jane, you want them to be happy together- when he reveals his
'mad wife' to Jane you feel sympathy for him as he is in such a bad
situation, you also feel sympathy for Jane; you feel resentful towards
Bertha as she ruined what Jane and Rochester could have had; it is
easy to feel like this as you don’t know her, as you do in WSS.
Bertha, in ‘Jane Eyre’, gets locked up in a luxury place; it seems she
has her own 'quarters' unlike in WSS. When you read WSS I felt less
sympathy for Mr.Rochester because you don’t really get the impression
that he loves Antoinette and that he is only marrying her for money.

Another factor that creates contrast between these novels is it is set
in a midst of strange confusing things (WSS) and a completely
different culture, which is chaotic and primitive, this makes us more
misplaced. Whereas in ‘Jane Eyre’ the culture is...


... middle of paper ...


...ve in
Jane. However I think eh main reason why I find Antoinette more
credible is because we here from her from the start, when she is
young. When we are first introduced to Rochester’s narrative we are
lost in the switch from part to part so we don’t get so in-depth with
him, Antoinette starts the novel so we trust her account; it’s the
first we hear. I generally feel more sympathy for her two as she was
never favoured or appreciated as a young child, rejected by her
mother, father, only friend Tia (who steals her dress), when she is
finally accepted by Richard Mason (stepfather) it is to sell her off
to Mr. Rochester who then accepts her but late rejects her by-
sleeping with her slave whilst she can hear them. She has little power
as a woman and so has to live with these changes made by others. This
is why I feel sympathy for Antoinette over Rochester.

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