The Sargasso Sea is a relatively still sea, lying within the south-west zone of the North Atlantic Ocean, at the centre of a swirl of warm ocean currents. Metaphorically, for Jean Rhys, it represented
an area of calm, within the wide division between England and the West Indies. Within such an area, a sense of stability, permanence and identity may be attained, despite the powerful, whirling currents
which surround it. But outside of this ?sea?, one may be destabilised, drawn away by these outside forces, into the vast expanse of ?ocean? between the West Indies and Europe. Outside of these metaphorical and geographical oceanic areas, one may become the victim of these currents, subject to their vagaries and fluctuations, no longer able to personally define, with any certainty, where one is
culturally or geographically located.
For Jean Rhys, Jane Eyre depicted representations of a Creole woman and West Indian history which she knew to be inaccurate. ?Bertha Mason is mad; and she came from a mad family; idiots and maniacs through three generations. Her mother, the Creole, was both a madwoman and a drunkard!? She is further described as having a ?discoloured face?, ?a savage face? with ?fearful blackened
inflation? of the features, ?the lips were swelled and dark?; described as a demon, witch, vampire, beast and hyena1. But nowhere in the novel does Bronte allow ?the madwoman in the attic? to have a
voice, to explain what may have caused her madness. Rhys says: ?The mad wife in Jane Eyre always interested me. I was convinced that Charlotte Bronte must have had something against the West
Indies and I was angry about it. Otherwise, why did she take a West Indian for that horrible lunatic, for that really dreadful creature??2 So in Wide Sargasso Sea, Rhys rewrites Bronte?s canonical text according to her own, personal experiences, as both a white West Indian and a woman.
But, giving Antoinette a voice, she exposes truth behind madness: The history of the land in which she lived, and the role of the woman in it, was a tale of Victorian, patriarchal values and colonial
exploitation; polarised ideology, division and confrontation in racial, cultural, sexual and historical issues. In a literary sense, Antoinette?s voice, once heard, would not only offer mitigating reasons for her madness...
... middle of paper ...
...tim of Victorian patriarchal colonialism she sought to give her a voice. In giving her a voice, she also revisits her own childhood and life experiences, giving herself the chance to be heard: To locate herself, emotionally, culturally and in literary terms, within the many binary oppositions in the book. To find a stable and secure place like the Wide Sargasso Sea.
ANGIER, Carole: Jean Rhys London, Penguin, 1992.
BAER, Elizabeth. R: ?The Sisterhood of Jane Eyre and Antoinette Cosway?, in Elizabeth Abel, Marianne Hirsch and Elizabeth Langland, eds The Voyage In: Fictions of Female Development London, University Press of New England, 1983, pp.131-149.
BOUMELHA, Penny: ?Jane Eyre, Jamaica and the Gentleman?s House?, Southern Review, 21 July 1988.
BRONTE, Charlotte: Jane Eyre Middlesex, Penguin, 1994.
ERWIN, Lee: ?Like a Looking Glass?: History and Narrative in Wide Sargasso Sea in Novel, Winter 1989
HAVELY, Cicely Palser: Wide Sargasso Sea: Real and Imagined Islands BBC TV, 1998.
NEWMAN, Julie: ?I Walked With a Zombie?, in The Ballistic Bard: Postcolonial Fictions London, Arnold, 1995.
RHYS, Jean: Wide Sargasso Sea London: Penguin, 1997.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Comparing Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte In the novels Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, the theme of loss can be viewed as an umbrella that encompasses the absence of independence, society or community, love, and order in the lives of the two protagonists. They deal with their hardships in diverse ways. However, they both find ways to triumph over their losses and regain their independence. The women in both novels endure a loss of personal freedom, both mental, and physical.... [tags: Wide Sargasso Sea Jane Eyre Essays]
1351 words (3.9 pages)
- Charlotte Bronte's Jane eyre and Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea The Sargasso Sea is a relatively still sea, lying within the south-west zone of the North Atlantic Ocean, at the centre of a swirl of warm ocean currents. Metaphorically, for Jean Rhys, it represented an area of calm, within the wide division between England and the West Indies. Within such an area, a sense of stability, permanence and identity may be attained, despite the powerful, whirling currents which surround it. But outside of this ?sea?, one may be destabilised, drawn away by these outside forces, into the vast expanse of ?ocean.... [tags: Compare Contrast Bronte Rhys Essays]
3360 words (9.6 pages)
- Incidentally, Bertha Mason also reflects a side of colonialism, though Charlotte Brontë wrote Jane Eyre two centuries after The Tempest was produced. Beginning in the eighteenth century, British imperialism led to more racialized thought. Furthermore, the Europeans came to view new lands as "hostile environments" (Charters 216). Bertha is from Spanish Town, Jamaica in the West Indies. Her mother was a Creole—a person of mixed European and black race from the Caribbean. Consequently, Bertha is half-Creole and half-white.... [tags: Jane Eyre, Morality, Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys]
1178 words (3.4 pages)
- Authors, Jean Rhys and Charlotte Bronte constructed their novels in completely different time periods and came from different influences in writing. Jean Rhys’s fiction book, Wide Sargasso Sea is an interesting relation to Jane Eyre. The female character of Jane Eyre forms into a furiously, passionate, independent young woman. The female character of Jean Rhys’s illustration is a character that Jane will know further on as Rochester’s crazy wife who is bolted in an attic. Jean Rhys further studies this character, where as Charlotte Bronte approved that it was left explained (Thorpe 175).... [tags: Wide Sargasso Sea, Jane Eyre]
1321 words (3.8 pages)
- In jean Rhys “wide Sargasso Sea examine” the themes of race and gender in the 'othering ' of Antoinette. While exploring the concept the ‘Other’ In Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea we can begin to untangle the complexity of the forms of isolation and alienation that becomes to be considered the key characteristic of ‘the other’ and clearly represented in our protagonist Antoinette, who is perceived by her Jamaican society as not belonging. The complexities of Antoinette character comes from a culturally constructed identity that is displayed as being fundamentally different than the others around her.... [tags: Black people, Race, Wide Sargasso Sea]
1107 words (3.2 pages)
- "Inequitable power relations based on gender and /or class and /or nationality are endemic to the human condition. Any aspiration towards equitable relations and/or social orders requires the undermining of power dynamics and groping towards humane modes of being. Explore in the relation to two texts articulating a clear stance on the issue." In both novels Jane Eyre written by Charlotte Bronte and Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea, it is evident that inequitable power relations based on gender/class/nationality plays a prominent role within the human livelihood.... [tags: prose essay, Charlotte Bronte, Jean Rhys]
1020 words (2.9 pages)
- Both Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea utilize point of view to reflect meaning within the texts. Charlotte Bronte chose to stick with one narrator in Jane Eyre and chronicled her journey to self discover and finding the love she desired for much of her life. On the flip side, Jean Rhys switched perspectives multiple times in Wide Sargasso Sea but has a similar story of a woman and her struggle to find herself and her yearning to be loved. Both authors created masterful pieces that transcend generations in their messages and themes, but they went about them in different ways, creating unique works of art.... [tags: narrator, perspective, oppression]
898 words (2.6 pages)
- Comparing Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea Jean Rhys obviously had Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre in mind while writing Wide Sargasso Sea. Each novel contains events that echo other events or themes in the other. The destruction of Coulibri at the beginning of Wide Sargasso Sea reminds the reader of the fire at Thornfield towards the end of Jane Eyre. While each scene refers to events in its own book and clarifies events in its companion, one cannot conclude that Rhys simply reconstructed Thornfield's fall in Coulibri's.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
3183 words (9.1 pages)
- God and Religion in Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea Jane Eyre, from Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, and Antoinette Mason, from Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea, both depict very different creeds. While Bronte created Jane with a Christian background, Rhys has birthed Antoinette into a more primitive, confused faith. Analyzing each writer's description of the red room will reveal the religious nature of their characters. In both texts, the rooms are symbolic of church. As Jane is sent to the bedroom of her dead uncle, Bronte relates it to a place of worship.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
910 words (2.6 pages)
- Love in Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea In the passages presented below, both narrators are soliciting affection and love. For Jane, in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, her mother figure, Aunt Reed, shows absolutely no affection towards her niece. Coldly, Ms. Reed regards Jane only as a bothersome child she was left to raise. Similarly, Antoinette, in Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea, is raised disregarded and unloved by her mother Annette. Although shunned, Jane and Antoinette both have the passion and willingness to love.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
1115 words (3.2 pages)