• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

There is always another side, always(TM) How does Jean Rhys demonstrate her understanding of this idea in her novel Wide Sargasso Sea?

Extracts from this document...


'There is always another side, always' How does Jean Rhys demonstrate her understanding of this idea in her novel Wide Sargasso Sea? The main intention of Rhys' 'write-back' was to give Bront�'s 'mad woman in the attic' a voice. On the behalf of all voices from the margins, Rhys, she felt a personal injustice was made in the creating of a figure in Jane Eyre that would be seen as mad and repulsive, and would represent to the nineteenth Century English reader a stereotype of the West Indies and the people who lived there. In a letter to Francis Wyndham that she explained that she was 'vexed at her (Bront�) portrait of the "paper tiger" lunatic, the wrong Creole scenes and above all the real cruelty of Mr Rochester...' she felt that Jane Eyre had only included '...one side-the English side...' In an attempt to create 'the other side' Rhys humanises Bertha by dubbing her 'Antoinette' to contrast the heavy and ugly name she is latter given in Wide Sargasso Sea and Jane Eyre. Rhys essentially creates the world and the background from which Antoinette is supposed to come, and re-defines Rochester as a young man, vulnerable and less powerful than he is in Jane Eyre. ...read more.


Rhys uses this to explain how Rochester manages to become both repulsed by and to desire Antoinette so deeply -'... I hated its indifference and the cruelty which was part of its loveliness. Above all I hated her. For she belonged to the magic and the loveliness.' His hatred for the landscape, the culture and Antoinette stem from his inability to communicate with it and above all not wanting to be drawn into something he truly fears- 'She had left me thirsty and all my life would be thirst and longing for what I had lost before I found it.' This raises connotations of Obeah and witchcraft and the notion that English women were never like this, that they would be quiet and docile and the mere notion that women would ever find sex appealing or enjoyable was completely unfounded in English culture, nevermind Rochester's inexperience with women in general. This idea would have been truly terrifying in nineteenth Century England. Furthermore there is a tangled relationship between dreams and reality. Antoinette feels that England must be a 'cold dark dream' that the West Indies is the only place she knows. ...read more.


Rhys breaks 'Bertha' out of the confines of the attic and develops her character to create a more meaningful and just version of 'Bertha Mason's life' so that she can then be a more significant and organic character sacrifice and equally celebrates her, rather than a symbol of dissipation she was depicted in Jane Eyre. Rochester is also revised and depicted as a more vulnerable and na�ve younger man than his 'larger than life' romantic hero persona in Jane Eyre; making it easier for readers to believe and understand his character but also easier to sympathise with him; his relations with his father and brother and his position as a younger son and his feelings of betrayal all amount to the cruel yet justified act of containing a 'loose Caribbean woman' in a secluded English manor house. Footnotes: 1 Michael Thorpe, "The Other Side: Wide Sargasso Sea and Jane Eyre"-Norton Critical Anthology, Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, ed by Judith Raiskin, WW Norton & Company, New York 1999, Page 173 2Letter from Jean Rhys to Francis Wyndham, Norton Anthology Page 139 3Letter from Jean Rhys to Diana Athill, Norton Anthology Page 144 4Letters from Jean Rhys to Maryvonne Moerman November 1949 Norton Anthology Page 131 ?? ?? ?? ?? Michelle Jones 12VIT ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Authors section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Authors essays

  1. Discuss the relationship between Keith and Stephen that is presented in the first Six ...

    He feels better when Keith's with him though and has a sense of relief when he thinks it is him who is crawling in, but it was in fact Barbara Berrill. When she was there he kept his eyes fixed on Keith's house, hoping that he would come.

  2. The Outsiders

    and Darry is not very strong because they get into a lot of arguments that leads to a very crucial point, when Darry hits Ponyboy. Ponyboy then runs out of the house with a rage knowing that Darry does not want him there anymore.

  1. Explain how Hosseini sets out to make the reader side with Hassan and not ...

    is in his younger self's perspective. The effect of this structure is so that the reader is given a sense of deep regret and the theme of redemption is introduced as the reader realises the narrator is looking back on his life.

  2. Violence in The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

    This all roots back to the issue of having a weak economy, but that is a whole different point. Another factor that makes violence predictable is the very beginning of the Novel. At the beginning of the novel, a violent act occurs by the Socs against Ponyboy, one of the Greasers.

  1. The love of money is the root of all evil. Discuss in detail the ...

    Annette’s marriage to the ineffectual and naïve Mr Mason is a result of her attempt to escape their situation of being “marooned” without any money to support the indulgent lifestyle of “moonlight picnics” and “dancing” that makes her happy. Mr Mason made the mistake of trusting the blacks who eventually killed Pierre by burning down the house.

  2. Fascism in Miss Jean Brodie

    Brodie loves to wear bright outfit contrasting with her girls? boring grey outfits, she is a center and everyone (the girls) should worship her. According to the Brodie?s unwritten law, once the girls are in The Brodie?s set, you will never find the way to get out.

  1. Notes on "All Quiet on the Western Front"

    He watches the man die, in pain for hours. He feels remorse and asks forgiveness from the man's corpse: ?Earlier on you were just an idea to me, a concept in my mind that called up an automatic response ? it was that concept that I stabbed.

  2. In what ways does Barker present ideas about madness and sanity in Regeneration? How ...

    He is regarded as the epitome of his class; he has been awarded a Military Cross for "conspicuous gallantry" and is the receiver of "admiring glances" wherever he goes. Yet Sassoon has merely repressed his experiences: his composed front at times gives way to hallucinations of "'corpses in Piccadilly'" and

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work