Wide Sargasso Sea

Wide Sargasso Sea

by Jean Rhys

Wide Sargasso Sea, a masterpiece of modern fiction, was Jean Rhyss return to the literary center stage.

With Wide Sargasso Sea, her last and best-selling novel, she ingeniously brings into light one of fictions most fascinating characters: the madwoman in the attic from Charlotte Brontës Jane Eyre.

Rhys portrays Cosway amidst a society so driven by hatred, so skewed in its sexual relations, that it can literally drive a woman out of her mind.A new introduction by the award-winning Edwidge Danticat, author most recently of Claire of the Sea Light, expresses the enduring importance of this work.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Fiction
  • Rating: 3.58
  • Pages: 171
  • Publish Date: January 25th 2016 by W. W. Norton Company
  • Isbn10: 0393352560
  • Isbn13: 9780393352566

What People Think about "Wide Sargasso Sea"

Bertha Mason is the madwoman in the attic; she is the raving lunatic that is Rochesters first wife in Jane Eyre,but have you ever stopped to wonder what her side of the story is? Well the simple answer is a man named Rochester. Rhys names the character Antoinette, a name Rochester refuses to use when he learns of her past. For Antoinette it is the simple of act of belonging nowhere. Neither culture would accept Antoinette as one of their own, as she herself recognises: It was a song about a white cockroach. The last bastion of refuge shatters and she realises her hate for this false man: she finds yet another place she doesnt belong. We cannot blame Bronte for her depiction of Bertha. It does wonders for recognising the voice of women; however, Jean Rhys just goes a little bit further.

Reading challenge: #27, 1 of 2.

One thing that really gets on my nerves is when an author writes a book about another author's story/character/whatever and you cannot understand or appreciate what you are being given unless you read the first author's work. The mad woman in Mr Rochester's attic had a story to tell, it has long bothered feminists and other critics how this character was portrayed in Jane Eyre because, at the end of the day, this mad woman was a person with a history - or should have been - not just a little crazy puppet there to pop up and throw a spanner in the works when Jane and Mr Rochester finally got together. This book appears on lists like "Novels for Feminists" and "100 Books Every Woman Should Read" - why?

- Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea I was curious to read this book as it was considered a sort of prequel to Jane Eyre. Ive just finished reading a book about the Suffragette movement that looked into historical accounts of insanity in women. I will definitely see him in a less than favourable light when I do re-read Jane Eyre.

I've always been convinced I've read Jane Eyre. Finally, I had to own up to never having read Jane Eyre. And if you've never read Jane Eyre this novel is sometimes confusing. The note at the back of the book informed me the book was now being narrated by Antoinette's new husband. To my mind, the editor should have gone further and told her to now write the entire novel from Antoinette's point of view. - might have been interesting had Rhys sought to undermine Antoinette's truth with his truth - created a battle of two unreliable narrators. It struck me as a laziness in Rhys that, having changed the beginning, she left what follows untouched.

If you saw the novel through their eyes, what would it be like? Therefore, ever since I heard the premise of Jean Rhys's novel, I was eager to read it. I do not know if Charlotte Bronte ever thought about it, but Ms. Rhys obviously did, and this compellingly readable novel is the product. I could see, hear and smell the tropical countryside (very much like my homeland), at once breathtakingly beautiful, compellingly seductive and strangely frightening-like Antoinette.

This is gothic romance at its absolute height. Leaving the reader naturally to ask for more.

With such well-known books, I don't think it's a spoiler to say this imagines the story of the mad first wife in Rochester's attic: from her childhood in Jamaica, through to her marriage to Rochester, and a final epilogue that ties the two novels together, set in her attic at Thorfield. THEMES The novel is set shortly after the emancipation of the plantation slaves, and Antoinette (aka Bertha in Jane Eyre) is the creole daughter of a former slave-owner. With the story set at this turning point, it's not only Antoinette who is questioning her identity and her place in life, and to some extent, her personal change of circumstances, and Rochester's role in that, echo those of colonial people in general. NARRATORS - AND VICTIMS The story is initially told by Antoinette. Given this, and the way Rochester was tricked into the marriage (stated in Jane Eyre, but given detail here) and some of what happens in this book ((view spoiler)rumours and lies to turn him against his wife, black magic, potions (hide spoiler)

Her experience of a patriarchal society and feelings of displacement during this period would form some of the most important themes in her work.