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Does Rhys present Antionette's husband as a victimizer or victim?

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Introduction

Does Rhys present Antionette's husband as a victimizer or victim? Wide Sargasso Sea is a novel written by Jean Rhys. Within this story Rhys looks at the pssibility of another side to Jayne Eyre. Wide Sargasso Sea is an amazing deconstruction of Bronte's Novel, and it is also a damning history of colonialism in the Caribbean. The story is set not long after the emancipation of the slaves. Antionette's husband is not given a name, however we can assume that he is taken from the character Mr Rochester, from Bronte's novel Jayne Eyre. From this we can also assume that he is going to be quiet, and show very little of his emotions. Antionette's husband is the narrator during part two, it is during this part of the novel that we are able to more cleary see how he feels about his surroundings, and the people he is with. From when Antionette and her husband arrive at Granbois, we can almost instantly see he is an outsider, 'It is all very brightly coloured, very strange.' ...read more.

Middle

He claims, 'I did not love her...I was thirsty for her.' On the other hand, he also plays the part of a loving husband, for example, 'You are safe...I'd touch her face gently and touch tears.' We can see Rhys presents him as a half hearted English gentleman. We can see that Rhys is trying to present Antionette's husband as a typical English gentleman. Rhys presents us with a critical version of the sterotype that we already know. He is eduacted, reserved, wealthy, and he hides his feelings, these are all the manorisms of a typically english gentleman. This could also further him into being a victim as he is different from everybody else. However, we also know that this type of perfect person does not exist. Which is what Rhys also shows to us throgh his becahviour. For example, he treats Antionette very much like a child, he is critical of her attitude towards money, 'Which she handed out so carelessly, and the fact that he just wants her to attent to hus feeling of lust, to maintain his sexual passion, there is nothing resembling any closeness between them afterwards. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example, 'I was not distraught.' He also calls Antionette by the name 'Bertha,' which we know is extremely patronizing towards her, and Antionette does not like this. Overall, Rhys presents Antionette's husband to be both a victim, mainly due to the fact that he is an English gentleman, he is different to the people he is currently around all the time, he is not understanding of the culture they sustain, and he is ignorant towards their beliefs and feelings. Also the fact that he was rushed into the marriage when he was ill, and therefore knew little about his bride and what he was letting himself in for. On the other hand Rhys also presents him as a victimizer in the way that he is extremely controlling over Antionette. He treats her as if she cant look after herself, and he wants to segregate her from the people she is closest too. It is my opinion that being a victim is what drives Antionette's husband into being a victimizer. Without the hostility of his surroundings, and his lack of understanding, i believe he would not have become a victimizer. ...read more.

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