Feminist essay wide sargasso sea


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The business also suggests that racialised constructions are supplementary to the division between life and death. The marriage sheet, emblematic of white reproductive sexuality, will become a shroud after Rochester recognises Antoinette 2 as Bertha. Antoinette acts out seduction scenarios on the sheet Rochester initially, and then she, spreads out for her, and Rochester ever more violently pulls the sheet from under her causing her to fall over.

When Jane and Rochester arrive at Thornfield Hall the furniture is covered in dust sheets, which Rochester removes. The injury is dramatised in invented, sometimes moving scenes involving Rochester and Antoinette. I know that. But I thought it for the best. Was that the best you could do?

Feminism in Jane Eyre and the wide sargasso sea Essay | Bartleby

You frightened? It cannot last, being so unhappy, I thought. It would kill me. I do know. And I am sorry. Nothing you can do. You watched me break myself up for you.

Book Review - Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys.

You watched me die. And there is nothing you can do because the worst of it is I am still alive. I wake up here every morning in this cold dark place.

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I still wake up alone. Still here. And I am still alive. Forgive me. There is dramatic irony here, of course, as Jane does not know the meanings of the red dress. After Rochester then blinds himself, Jane again repeats the offer of help. Just for a moment. Jane as feminist subject, however, ultimately recognises the humanity of Antoinette and not Antoinette 2.

Other Ways of Looking: The Female Gaze in Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea

Emblematic of opacity, destructive aggression, vengeance and physicality, Antoinette 2 conforms to stereotypes of blackness. Baer Elizabeth R. Hanover: UP of New England, Bronfen Elisabeth. Manchester: Manchester UP, Jane Eyre. Introduction by Sally Shuttleworth. Oxford: Oxford UP, Bruhm Steven. Hogle ed. The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, Campbell Elaine.


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Worried about where Helen will go after death and if Jane too will go there, she asks herself, "Where is that region? Does it exist? But as Jane matures and becomes an adult, her faith solidifies and she comes to have a clear belief in God. When Jane is distressed by the decision of whether to stay in England or accompany St. John as a missionary in India, she entreats Heaven for guidance, "I sincerely, deeply, fervently longed to do what was right; and only that.

Jane's devotion is unwavering, she repeatedly draws on her faith in God for strength. Her spirituality is very personal and romantic, as opposed to the Evangelical devotion of Brocklehurst or St.

Jane believes more in finding herself than in serving others or God, as St. John so fervently believes. She thinks, "If I join St. John , I abandon half myself: if I go to India, I go to premature death. By straining to satisfy St. John till my sinews ache, I shall satisfy him--to the finest central point and farthest outward circle of his expectations. Now, I thank God! I know it to be otherwise. Yes, I thank God! He put me off his knee, rose, and reverently lifting his hat from his brow, and bending his sightless eyes to the earth, he stood in mute devotion.

Only the last words of the worship were audible. I humbly entreat my Redeemer to give me strength to lead henceforth a purer life than I have done hitherto! And Jane is there to lead him. As a woman, Jane finds comfort in religion and belief. One of Rhys's first mentions of Antoinette's spirituality refers to Annette's funeral.

Like Jane, Antoinette has difficulty finding comfort in religion when confronted with the death of someone close to her. Antoinette recalls, "Christophine cried bitterly but I could not. I prayed, but the words fell to the ground meaning nothing. Antoinette is unable to feel the loss of her mother because she has always been mourning this loss.

When Rochester asks why she lied and said her mother died when she was a child, Antoinette replies, "it is true.

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She did die when I was a child. There are always two deaths, the real one and the one people know about. The death that "people know about" is the significant death for Antoinette, not the physical death in which Christianity believes the soul goes to God. For Antoinette, whether she believes in God or not is simply irrelevant, no amount of faith will change the actual circumstances of her existence. She raised her eyebrows and the corners of her mouth turned down in a questioning mocking way. They are as helpless as moths, Antoinette sees no distinctions between humans and insects.

Antoinette sees both herself and her husband as marionettes without control over their lives. For Antoinette, the world is godless, the only magic is that of Christophine's, which completely backfires, could be said to be key factor that leads to Antoinette's tragic ending. Mason believes in God, like Rochester, while Coulibri burns he "stop[s] swearing and began to pray in a loud pious voice. Observing the horrific scene of the house burning, the people laughing and cheering it on, and Mr. Mason praying, Antoinette remarks sardonically that God, "who is indeed mysterious, who had made no sign when they burned Pierre as he slept -- not a clash of thunder, not a flash of lightening -- mysterious God heard Mr.

Mason at once and answered him. The yells stopped" Mason as a man can call on God and even gets a response, all this is completely "mysterious" to Antoinette, who does not see any logic in the situation, God did not seem to notice Pierre's death, but now he silences everyone to watch her mother's parrot fall burning to his death. God is not a source of comfort, but rather just one more being not to be trusted. Later, Antoinette corrects Rochesters thoughts about Dominica and God:. It has nothing to do with either of us.

That is why you are afraid of it, because it is something else. I found that out, long ago when I was a child. I loved it because I had nothing else to love, but it is as indifferent as this God you call on so often. Antoinette is confused by Rochester's calling on God as much as she is completely confused by his sudden rejection of her. Religion, like love, is unfamiliar and beyond her comprehension.

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Double (de)colonization and the feminist criticism of 'Wide Sargasso Sea.'

Jane and Antoinette are both distressed by the issues posed by being a woman in a male-dominated society, but they each deal with these dilemmas in a unique way. Jane has a very romantic and Victorian approach, whereas Antoinette has a distinctly modernist approach. Jane battles a daunting but distinguishable foe. She is headstrong and stubborn, refusing to be mistreated, whether it be by Aunt Reed, Brocklehurst, or Rochester.


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She manages the socially ambiguous position of governess with dignity and practicality. Jane Eyre takes a special interest in the lives of women and the internal psyche of one particular, bright woman. The novel upholds a belief that women can achieve their goals. Jane gets what she wants: she marries Rochester, she finds as well as creates a family, she becomes socially respectable and even gains financial independence.

Rochester loves Jane as a wife and respects her for her intelligence and talents. Jane also has no trouble at all in describing how she feels women are restricted, she says:. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.

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