In the Sargasso Sea A Novel (TREDITION CLASSICS)

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Even though there is no father as such in either novel, father figures play a crucial part in the fates of the heroines.

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The author argues that father figures find an echo in the description of gardens while these gardens reflect the fate of the heroine. In other words, she points out that in both novels the garden reflects the material and psychological state of the heroine, brought about by the mainly negative father figures. Gott deliberately juxtaposes the three novels in a synchretizing gesture. She thus shows that in the three Gothic classics, the women move from freedom to captivity, when they are considered as children by the male protagonist, before eventually recovering some power and ultimately asserting their will.

Indeed, Jean Rhys initiated a new type of rewriting. His analysis focuses on the similarities and differences between the two works. He shows how the music picks up on some great themes in the novel while discrepencies between the two works lead to a modern characterization of madness and introduce a metafictional dimension. The author examines how the play psychologizes Antoinette. She points out how political struggles are transformed into the psychological dimension through the theme of the double enacted on the stage in various manners and shows the demise of marriage as happy ending.

We touch here on an interesting phenomenon: Wide Sargasso Sea has literally wound its way into other texts, subsequent rewritings of Jane Eyre. Roblin suggests that the novel is interesting insofar as it attempts a double rewriting of both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Charlotte is in many ways typical of its postmodern times.

Double Exile: Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea

Utterly deprived of nostalgia for the Victorian era it depicts, the novel challenges not only the source-text and its ideology but also its own reader, taken in a dizzying narrative spiral. The typical Brookner heroine takes the virtuous Jane as her life model but never meets, let alone marries her Rochester who always prefers somebody less virtuous. Such may well be the aim but it is not necessarily achieved: indeed when filling in the blanks, rewritings sometimes block off or inflate a text.

These rewritings are in fact testimonies to the contemporary world whose preoccupations often find their way into the new texts.

Themes and Symbolisms in Wide Sargasso Sea

Therefore, if what comes out of rewriting is the often criticised ideological dimension of the hypotext, the ideological dimension of the times in which the rewriting is produced is also obvious. In other words, when engaging with the original text and challenging it, rewritings are also undeniably informative about our present times and literature. Calinescu Mattei. International Postmodernisms, Theory and Literary Practice. Lane, Rod Mengham and Philip Tew eds.

Contemporary British Novel. Cambridge: Polity Press. No customer reviews.

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October 2, - Published on Amazon. Verified Purchase. Truth can lie between two different realities. But what is her story? Like Rhys herself, Antoinette is of Creole descent.

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We meet her growing up in Dominica with her widowed mother and disabled brother. From the beginning, Antoinette is unsure of who she is. Mason abandons his mad wife to abusive caretakers and sends Antoinette to convent school. It is his responsibility to identify a husband for her, howe ver, and he does. As a second son, Rochester needs the money bequeathed to Antoinette by her stepfather. They wed, and at first the match seems successful.

Antoinette responds, opening herself to experience a happiness her childhood had trained her to never expect. Yet Rochester has a nagging distrust of his exotic Creole wife, and antipathy for Dominica. Geography becomes a proxy for the perceptions and misperceptions of the spouses. Rochester views the technicolor Dominica as ominous and threatening, as if he were about to be devoured by a giant Venus flytrap. And then there is the Sargasso Sea, a dead-calm oceanic mire that Dominica borders upon. For Rochester, it is a physical barrier between himself and his beloved England.

The letter warns Rochester he was tricked into marrying a degenerate girl with a family history of madness. The rift between them devolves into a chasm leading to her own undoing. Rochester drags his broken wife to cold and dark England, where he confines her to the attic, under the care of servants paid for their discretion. December 18, - Published on Amazon. Everything about her betrayed the woman who had been brought up to certain tastes, then left without the money to gratify them; trained to certain opinions which forbad her even the relief of rebellion against her lot; yet holding desperately to both her tastes and her opinions.

The women in her stories are often silenced by their oppressors, male or female, but they argue with them in their thoughts. I felt I needed a rest.

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Writing back to Jane Eyre and giving the first Mrs Rochester a chance to give her point of view was perhaps the culmination of this technique. But although Rhys is conscious of the way women are the losers in the patriarchal metropolitan and colonial world, she is also aware that women can oppress and men be oppressed. However, he never argued about it, because that was part of the code. Simply under certain circumstances you did this, and under certain circumstances you did that.

She had grown up thinking England was glamorous, magnificent. When she arrived she found it cold, grey, unwelcoming, xenophobic, snobbish and endemically misogynist.

Yet at times Rhys suggests that her critical stance towards the English was already developing in Dominica. There are other elements in her upbringing perhaps that prevented her from succumbing to the norms of English hierarchy.

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Significantly, in addition, the convent had introduced her to the French language and to French poetry, to which she was deeply drawn and which she felt had far more affinities with the black Dominicans than English did. It was in Paris that she began to write, and French writers were her models.

Paris or what it was to me and Dominica, a most lovely and melancholy placeā€¦ Both these places or the thought of them make me want to write. One other element in her estrangement from Englishness might also have been her identification with her Celtic origins. So it must have been her Welsh father, and while it may not have been to do with his Welshness, Rhys may well have felt it was.


She remained proud of the fact that she only had one-sixteenth English blood. Her enemy was emphatically only the English.

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Rhys, Savory suggests, can be seen as deeply Caribbean in her consciousness of her colour. Rhys certainly does not escape the racial generalisations of her time. That could be said of her depiction of the English as much as of the black Caribbeans though as far as I know the only critic to protest on behalf of the English is Robert Young.