The novel is a vindicating howl of rage and injustice, and a skin-flaying revelation of personal sadism. Wide Sargasso Sea is also a valuable historical work, written in the s but set in the early s, which explores Victorian paternalism, sexualised racism and the complex social and political history of the West Indies. In the West Indian settings Rhys skilfully evokes the seething impulses of anger, trauma, fear, mockery and suspicion between, amongst, towards and from former slaves originally from Africa, black West Indian servants who are the children of slaves, mixed-race illegitimate children of white plantation owners who impregnated female slaves, non-white naturalised Creoles, former slave-owners, house masters, newly impoverished plantation owners, colonial interlopers and prospecting entrepreneurs wanting to buy derelict estates.
Gender Differences in in Medea versus Wide Sargasso Sea Stereotypical attributes traditionally associated with women, such as having a propensity to madness, or being irrational, frivolous, dependent, decorative, subordinate, scheming, manipulative, weak, jealous, gossiping, vulnerable and deceitful were common in the times relevant to both works, i. Ancient Greece and in the 19th and early 20th Century. Masculine attributes in Euripides' time were more along the lines of being valiant, heroic, noble, dominant over women, politically powerful, assertive, and competitive.
You're more likely to see the theme of love treated in Wide Sargasso Sea under one of its many associated emotions: desire, lust, trust, and happiness, but also hate, fear, and jealousy. Romantic love in the novel is constantly thwarted by all the baggage the characters bring into their relationship, including their past histories and their ideas about race, gender, and class. For a longer discussion of death as a metaphor for sexuality, see "Mortality.
Jean Rhys explored the depths of the feminine mind living in a masculine dominated society. Wide Sargasso Sea can be read without any knowledge of Jane Eyreand is a completely stand-alone novel. Both Rhys and her character started out life in the West Indies and ended up living in England, both dying there. Although Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea are novels, I wonder if we can read the minds of their authors in their stories.
You search returned over essays for "Wide Sargasso Sea ". The wide waters of Sargasso are symbolic in the wide ocean of Sargasso. Discuss how Jean Rhys uses different places in the story.
The eponymous protagonist of Jane Eyre develops into a fiercely independent, self-assured, moral, and passionate young woman. The protagonist of Rhys's text is the character who Jane will know later only as Rochester's lunatic wife who is locked in the attic. This exploration takes the form of a three part narrative, the middle part being in the first person voice of Rochester although he is never namedthe other two being the voice of Antoinette who will later become the madwoman Bertha of Jane Eyre.
Antoinette is economically powerless and also emotionally vulnerable because she loves Rochester and feels sexual passion for him. Yet, despite being equally drawn to her, Rochester fears this depth of emotion and the ensuing lack of control. Rochester is subject to a conflict between his own sexual desire on the one hand and ideologies of race and gender on the other:. Wide Sargasso Sea offers an examination and questioning of long established ideas about women and madness.
While Rochester is allowed to express sexual desire both with his wife and other womenhe seems critical of Antoinette for acting in a similar. When Daniel tells him, Rochester becomes visibly upset, ultimately leaving the house. She thirsts for anyone — not for me
In getting an overview of the treatment of gender in Wide Sargasso Sea, two approaches are helpful:. Conditioning, especially in childhood, reinforces expectations of the role and behaviour of women. Antoinette's culture as a nineteenth century white Creole requires her to conform to certain feminine stereotypes:.