Racial Tensions in Wide Sargasso Sea Essay examples

Racial Tensions in Wide Sargasso Sea Essay examples

Length: 1179 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Racial tension is a major theme in “Wide Sargasso Sea”, with the mix of whites and blacks and white/blacks in the novel creating a cut-throat atmosphere which creates a hazardous place for Jamaica’s denizens. Many racial situations occur between whites and blacks, which Americans are use to due to the dangerous troubles between blacks and whites in the 1950s with a clear enemy: the whites. But Rhys tackles a more important point: an overall racial hostility between everybody living in Jamaica during the novels time period with no one to blame. Instead of using only racism, Rhys uses situations her readers could easily relate to such as: betrayal, adultery, and feeling of not belonging. Through her use of alternating points of views, Rhys uses racism shared by both characters and their actions/faults and thoughts to meld and to show the blame cannot be placed onto one person.
To fully understand the racism that existed in this time period, there needs to be an explanation of the historic events that had passed before the novel’s time period. According to an article concerning the emancipation of Jamaica in the 1800s on jamica-guide.info, England attempted to abolish slavery but was met with fierce objections by the government in Jamaica. Jamaican parliament believed that the slaves were happy and did not crave change which led to an immense conflict which resulted in numerous revolts, one by Sharpe and one by the Creole population led by 21-year old Jordan. There was an immense racism towards whites and the

Creole population during this time period, with the Jamaicans, Creoles and Jamaican whites wanting different things, freedom, rights and their power back, respectively.
After the emancipation, Rhys starts with Anto...


... middle of paper ...


... and how certain situations and the events that took place didn’t happen on whim but was a cause due to circumstances such as Antoinette poisoning Rochester and Rochester distancing himself from Antoinette after hearing about her mother. The addition of racism helps the readers hold onto a factual bit of the story, something that isn’t fiction to help them connect through pity. More importantly is the underlying message life has no clear outcome and is sometimes, at best, hazy.
Rhys usage of both racism and her window to both Rochester and Antoinette helps the story intertwine with both characters so their faults and actions are driven by each other. Doing so, her readers cannot put blame on the characters and more importantly, life is not always so clear and that certain actions/thoughts cannot be attributed to one person and there’s always a grey area.


Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Jean Rhys 's Wide Sargasso Sea Essay

- 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]

Strong Essays
1107 words (3.2 pages)

Wide Sargasso Sea and The Color Purple Essay examples

- Problems, along with misery, become apart of life whether you’re willing to accept it or not. For those who have accepted such troubles, have also learned to cope with it one way or another. Antoinette’s character in “Wide Sargasso Sea” and Celie’s character in “The Color Purple” have both experienced problems with depression, loneliness, violence, inferiority, racism, and self-identity. It is important for such characters as Antoinette and Celie to express their emotions and have a method of working out there issues....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
858 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Shades of Grey in Wide Sargasso Sea

- Some believe the world is black and white but there isn’t always a clear person to blame for heartbreak or hardship. It is easier to blame something on one person but it’s not always realistic. Rhys portrays this “grey world” theme in Wide Sargasso Sea with her main characters: Rochester and Antoinette. She uses two unique connections to show how the two are intertwined: the first by the racism that they both experience and the second by their own actions/rationalizations that hurt each other portrayed through Rhys’ use of alternation perspectives....   [tags: Wide Sargasso Sea Essays]

Free Essays
953 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about The Sargasso Sea as an Underlying Metaphor in Wide Sargasso Sea

- The Sargasso Sea as an Underlying Metaphor in Wide Sargasso Sea Why did Jean Rhys name her novel about the Creole madwoman in the attic from Jane Eyre after a mysterious body of water in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. As there is no mention made of the Sargasso Sea in the novel itself, one might wonder why she chose to title her novel after it. In a 1958 letter to a friend and colleague, she describes her changing titles for the novel: “I have no title yet. ‘The First Mrs. Rochester’ is not right....   [tags: Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys]

Strong Essays
1162 words (3.3 pages)

Comparing Wide Sargasso Sea and Jane Eyre Essay

- 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]

Strong Essays
1321 words (3.8 pages)

Colonising Within the Marriage in Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea Essay

- Colonising Within the Marriage in Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea      Jean Rhys' complex text, Wide Sargasso Sea, came about as an attempt to re-invent an identity for Rochester's mad wife, Bertha Mason, in Jane Eyre, as Rhys felt that Bronte had totally misrepresented Creole women and the West Indies: 'why should she think Creole women are lunatics and all that. What a shame to make Rochester's wife, Bertha, the awful madwoman, and I immediately thought I'd write a story as it might really have been.' (Jean Rhys: the West Indian Novels, p144).  It is clear that Rhys wanted to reclaim a voice and a subjectivity for Bertha, the silenced Creole, and to subvert the assumptions made by the Victoria...   [tags: Wide Sargasso Sea Essays]

Strong Essays
1147 words (3.3 pages)

Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea Essay

- 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....   [tags: Wide Sargasso Sea Rhys]

Strong Essays
1298 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on Themes in Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

- Themes in Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys The main themes in Wide Sargasso Sea are slavery and entrapment, the complexity of racial identity and womanhood or feminism. In all of these themes the main character who projects them are Antoinette and Christophine. The theme slavery and entrapment is based on the ex- slaves who worked on the sugar plantations of wealthy Creoles figure prominently in Part One of the novel, which is set in the West Indies in the early nineteenth century. Although the Emancipation Act has freed the slaves by the time of Antoinette's childhood, compensation has not been granted to the island's black population, breeding hostility and resentment between servants and t...   [tags: Wide Sargasso Jean Rhys Slavery Essays]

Strong Essays
778 words (2.2 pages)

The Importance of Truth in Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea Essay

- The Importance of Truth in Wide Sargasso Sea In Wide Sargasso Sea " Rhys presents a white Creole family living in a Caribbean Island (Jamaica), which is a lush and insecure world for them, after the liberation of the slaves. The husband had once been a slaveholder, the mother is a confused and crazy lady and Antoinette, the daughter, is a child in an atmosphere of fear, recrimination and bitter anger. She becomes increasingly isolated-this isolation is broken by her scheming stepbrother, who signs Antoinette's inheritance over to the naive Mr....   [tags: Wide Sargasso Sea Essays]

Strong Essays
1216 words (3.5 pages)

The Tragedy of Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea Essay

- The Tragedy of Wide Sargasso Sea   In Jean Rhys' novel Wide Sargasso Sea, whether Antoinette Cosway really goes mad in the end is debatable. Nevertheless, it is clear that her life is tragic. The tragedy comes from her numerous pursuits for love and a sense of belonging, and her failure at each and every one of these attempts. As a child Antoinette, is deprived of parental love. Her father is a drunkard and has many mistresses and illegitimate children. According to Daniel Cosway's account, old Cosway is cruel to his own son....   [tags: Wide Sargasso Sea Essays]

Strong Essays
1055 words (3 pages)