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character of Antoinette Cosway, and her personal experiences likely shaped the events depicted in her fiction. Perhaps most notably, Rhys's greatgrandfather was a slave-owner who acquired a Dominican sugar plantation in the nineteenth century, but after the Emancipation Act was passed his estate fell on hard times. Subsequent riots led to the looting of the house, which was eventually burned by arsonists. Rhys visited her family's ancestral abode in 1936 and was extremely affected by the experience. She purportedly had the idea for Wide Sargasso Sea not long thereafter. Like Antoinette, as a white girl in a chiefly black community, Rhys grew up feeling alienated and alone in the Caribbean.Although her novels and short stories met with moderate success, Jean Rhys disappeared completely from the public eye between the years of 1939 and 1957, and was widely believed to be dead. Creole identity and a drifting life: Jean Rhys was born in Dominica in 1890, the daughter of a Welsh doctor and a white Creole mother. She came to England when she was sixteen and then drifted into a series of jobs - chorus girl, mannequin, artist's model - after her father died. Start to write in her thirties: She began to write when the first of her three marriages broke up. She was in her thirties by then, and living in Paris, where she was encouraged by Ford Madox Ford, who also discovered D. H. Lawrence. Characters a self-reflection of Rhys? Her first four novels are said to portray the same woman (with different names and minor details) at different stages of life, all drifting, unhappy, unstable, but with clear self-knowledge and understanding of others. Her style "Rhys often wrote about women-- in various stages of their lives -- living hand to mouth in London or Paris. The women are always on the economic edge, needing money, receiving cash and clothes from men, drinking, sitting in cafes, and endlessly walking. The books are very spare, stark, unsentimental, and wonderful."
Commentaries ³But she pushed me away, not roughly but calmly, coldly, without a word, as if she had decided once and for all that I was useless to her... µOh, let me alone,¶ she would say, µlet me alone,¶ and after I knew that she talked aloud to herself I was a little afraid of her.´ (18) In this quote, not only Antoinette realizes that she is not wanted by Annette, her mother, but also Antoinette becomes afraid of Annette. This shows that Antoinette was never loved by anyone during her childhood. There also is a sense of foreshadowing when Antoinette observes her mother talking aloud to herself, of which she becomes scared. This foreshadows, perhaps, Annette¶s madness for when there is a mad woman, people, especially children, become scare of the person. (hardhearted, selfish, uncaring)
clean that morning. µShe is ashamed of me. Antoinette continues through her observation of how Annette was different from other women around. uncaring. 22) keep them then. perhaps."Her [Annette¶s] songs were not like Jamaican songs. It was as if I saw myself. not my underclothes.All slave-owners. you cheating nigger (22) "All that evening my mother didn¶t speak to me or look at me and I thought. . (39) ³Our parrot was called Coco. blood on my face. 44) "They are safe.25 ³but Annette is such a pretty woman. He was all on fire. 54 All benevolent. tears on hers." -pg. It was cold as ice in the hot sun. She was much blacker« No other negro woman wore black. When we came out of the church I took her hand. (coldhearted. This connects with the idea that Annette and Antoinette was never welcomed by neither ex-slaves nor white ex-slaveowners. Mason clipped his wings he grew very bad tempered. better than people. or tied her handkerchief Martinique fashion" (18-19) This quotation shows that Annette did not belong in Jamaica. or is it air? I forget." (pg. Better. she never wore any but my dress. Reminds me of that song ³light as cotton blossom on the something breeze´. ironed. Che Coco. How can they know what it can be like outside?" Pg. They were always lonely for they had no friends and were. outcast. the outsiders.´ (41) ³We stared at each other. and she was not like the other women. everybody was looking up and pointing at Coco on the glacis railings with his feathers alight.All resting in peace.´ (pg 26) He an effort to fly down but his clipped wings failed him and he fell screeching. strange. he could say Qui est la? Qui est la? And answer himself Che Coco. He didn't talk very well. Like in a looking glass. After Mr.´ (pg. starched. (outsider. (70) . 41) "Why you bring that child to make trouble troubletrouble? Trouble enough without that. He made an effort to fly down but his clipped wings failed him and he fell screeching. a green parrot. He was all on fire." (pg. And what a dancer. I opened my eyes. alien) "I searched for a long time before i could believe that she had taken my dress.¶" (24) This is another quotation that shows the indifference of Annette towards her daughter. what Tia said is true. selfish) "Better.
but it would not be reality. nothing but fools. being so unhappy. her fearless. Thus. It is all that I can give you. It is when Antoinette came to Christophine¶s house for advice. I thought. Antoinette refuses to see the truth and is very dependent and fragile.(100) ³How can one discover the truth. the leaves a dark green. One living in this world. The stone I had tripped on was not a boulder but part of a paved road. Not my father nor Richard Mason.. but no husband. it would kill you. and that thought led me nowhere. The track led to a large clear space. disturbing. You don't believe me? Then try.(86) It was a beautiful place ² wild.. A track was just visible and I went on.87] So between you I often wonder who I am and where is my country and where do I belong and why was I ever born at all (93) How old was I when I learned to hide what I felt? A very small boy. I'd find myself thinking. bewilder her. Now. Would you do that? You wouldn't have to kill me. secret loveliness. and Christophine tells her to leave Rochester.. There had been a paved road through this forest. then one night whispered. I keep my money. I don¶t give it to no worthless man. I thank my God. a misfortune.114 . above all untouched. so sure I was being watched that I looked over my shoulder. 84. She uses strong words to reveal her thoughts about husband shows that she is a very independent and strong woman. because at this point." Pg. (93) ³Why you ask me. hurt her. A beautiful place. No one would tell me the truth.´ (p. 85) Die then. Say die and I will die. her fixed ideas would never change. it cannot last. 99) This quotation is from the dialogue between Antoinette and Christophine. Characterization) Reality might disconcert her. It would be only a mistake. 'What I see is nothing ² I want what it hides ² that is not nothing'. I stood still. untouched. ³All women. Three children I have. each one a different father. Nothing but the trees and the green light under the trees. try. you say no?´ (p. I thought. [p. At the back of the ruins a wild orange tree covered with fruit. 99~100) This dialogue by Christophine shows her feelings toward man. Here were the ruins of a stone house and round the ruins rose trees that had grown to an incredible height. This reveals her logic of life. all colours. and her independence. if when I answer you say no? Why you come up here if when I tell you the truth. this quotation almost works as a foil to Antoinette. I have been too unhappy. Sleep. say die and watch me die' (Pg. certainly not the girl I had married. a wrong path taken. when I am happy. with an alien. glancing from side to side and sometimes quickly behind me. (p.'What would?' She did not answer that.´ (104) "Disgust and rage. And it kept its secret. 'If I could die. This was why I stubbed my foot on a stone and nearly fell.
But something you can touch and hold like my red dress. But I Christophine I beg you. A little. always. You will have nothing. that has a meaning. there is a clear evidence of Christophine dislike toward Rochester. What will I care for Gods or devils or for Fate itself.' 'Is there another side?' I said.162 There is no looking-glass here and I don't know what I am like now. But the glass was between us ± hard.154 ³My hate is colder.Like you can love. Bertha. 139) ³I know that girl. She¶s mad but mine. A little. You are trying to make me into someone else.´ (pg 154) But he never came(161) ³Long ago when I was a child and very lonely I tried to kiss her.. if he has one.´ (p. She love you so much. she will die first. like she say. Now they have taken everything away. all you want is to break her up. (162) Time has no meaning. What am I doing in this place and who am I?" pg. the fact that Christophine approached Rochester to beg for his love toward Antoinette reveals her loyalty. (121) 'Don't laugh like that. 'His real name. mine.' Pg.' she said quickly. She thirsty for you.Wait. stronger. and perhaps you can love her again. why do you call me Bertha?' 'Because it is a name I'm particularly fond of.nothing left but hopelessness. and you¶ll have no hate to warm yourself. She will never ask you for love again. 142) In the book.. but he hates me the most." (151) "She was only a ghost. and it help you break her up. A ghost in the grey daylight. cold and misted over with my breath. they told me i made her worse. (133) "But you don't love. she pushed me away and cried when i went to see her." (pg. is Daniel Boyd. and desolation.but she-she didnt want me. calling me by another name. 122 I wish to stay here in the dark." pg. Where is it? (166) . 'There is always the other side.' 'My name is not Bertha.' (128) Bertha is not my name. However. I think of you as Bertha. ruin. He tells lies about us and he is sure that you will believe him and not listen to the other side.(150) "Save me from destruction.where I belong (123) ³'He has no right to that name. He hates all white people.
[p. (169) I hated the mountains and the hills. I hated its indifference and the cruelty which was part of its loveliness. I hated its beauty and its magic and the secret I would never know. I hated the sunsets of whatever colour. 172] . For she belonged to the magic and the loveliness. Gold is the idol they worship.Then I heard a clock ticking and it was made of gold. She had left me thirsty and all my life would be thirst and longing for what I had lost before I found it. Above all I hated her. the rivers and the rain.
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