Analysis of Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Title: Wide Sargasso Sea

Author: Jean Rhys

Context: Wide Sargasso Sea (1966) is a post colonial and masterpiece fiction novel by Jean Rhys. This novel is her comeback to the literary centre stage.  Some of the most fascinating characters are brought in ingeniously into light in her fiction work.

Synopsis: The story is about a protected and sensuous young woman named Antoinette Cosway who is sold to Mr.Rochester a proud man from Jamaica for marriage. She travels to his home in England with him. Antoinette is driven out of her mind completely, in the midst of a society pitched in its sexual relations and driven by hatred.

The main character as well as theme of this work is from Charlotte Bronte’s novel, Jane Eyre. Life of this West Indian woman who marries becomes a nightmare. The climate she is settled in is inhospitable, there is no love between her and her husband and she becomes frequently violent and mad. She is then confined by her husband to an attic in his home at Thornfield.

No one is aware of Antoinette’s existence except for him and the hired attendant named Grace Poole who takes care of her. Gradually, Mr.Rochester becomes involved with Jane Eyre, who is governess to a young girl who maybe be his daughter. A major part of the events take place in the West Indies, in the novel.  While Antoinette narrates the first and third sections of the novel, her husband Mr.Rochester narrates the middle section of the novel.

Other works by the Author:

1927 – The Left Bank and Other Stories

1928 – Postures

1931 – After Leaving Mr.Mackenzie

1934 – Voyage in the Dark

1939 – Good Morning, Midnight

1968 – Tigers Are Better-Looking

1969 – Penguin Modern Stories

1975 – My Day: Three Pieces, stories

1976 – Sleep It Off Lady, stories

1979 – Smile Please: An Unfinished Autobiography

1984 – Jean Rhys: Letters

1984 – Early Novels

1985 – The Complete Novels

1985 – Tales of the Wide Caribbean, stories

1987 – The Collected Short Stories

1995 – Let Them Call It Jazz, stories

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