Wide Sargasso Sea of Jean Rhys is a re-writing of Jane Eyre which amplifies the character of Bertha Mason and shows a more plausible relationship between Rochester and her. It is non set in the city of the colonial imperium but one of its colonial imperiums in the Caribbean. Dominica has witnessed a history of ferocious colonisation by Spain, England and France which killed about the full original people of the part viz. The Caribs and the Ciboneys. The colonisers brought African slaves to work in the flourishing sugar plantations. As a consequence of the combination of so many civilizations we have people with Creole features seen in its nutrient, linguistic communication and faith. The abolition of bondage in 1834 meant that the black people who formed the bulk would be freed and the power of the white minorities to suppress the inkinesss would easy discontinue.
It is at this uneasy clip merely after the emancipation of the slaves that we are introduced to Antoinette`s household fallen on difficult times in the wake of the switching racial relationships between the white Creoles and the slaves. In the gap lines of the text, we are instantly made aware of the place of Creoles in Caribbean society. “ They say when problem comes near ranks, and so the white people did. But we were non in their ranks. The Jamaican ladies had ne’er approved of my female parent, ‘because she pretty like reasonably self ‘ Christophine said. ” The lines show that Antoinette and her Creole household are non included with the white people who fought together against the economic catastrophe after the slaves were freed. Furthermore Annette ‘s banishment by the black ladies in the 3rd sentence of the quotation mark sets the tone for the manner Creoles will be treated by the black indigens throughout the book.
We are introduced to the Coulibri Estate, “ gone to bush ” stand foring the ruin of the colonial imperium with the imagination of the scriptural autumn. The Whites in the community carry fright and apprehensiveness as if expecting the racial force from the black people. Antoinette feels every bit estranged as her widowed female parent as both of them encounter the ill will of the black people as when a small miss abuses Antoinette being a ‘white cockroach ‘ wanted by cipher in the island. Antoinette strongly identifies with Tia because both are in racial groupings that are considered inferior to the dominant white, European colonial category. However when Antoinette reflects that, ‘fires ever illuminated… . ‘ for Tia she is unconsciously cognizant of Tia being different from her, more drawn to the natural universe. The author is besides playing with racial stereotype that sees inkinesss as being crude and closer to nature. Tia subsequently says, “ Old clip white people nil but white nigga now, and black nigga better than white nigga. ” This vocalization summarizes how without ‘gold money ‘ the white people are no longer respected by the black community.
Mr. Mason now represents the image of a typical coloniser full of biass against the inkinesss. He misjudges the black people as harmless and ‘too darn lazy to be unsafe ‘ . Mason believes that because the black people had been at one clip purchased, they were his ownerships. After Antoinette`s mother`s matrimony to a proper English gentleman, we see the Coulibri restored to its former glorification. Yet Antoinette and her female parent are instinctively cognizant of the lifting ill will of the black retainers. Antoinette is greatly influenced by Cristophine`s traditional knowledge and the older women`s Obeah esthesias as when she yearns for the “ protective stick ” . Her integrating with the black community is seen in the manner she is obsessed with superstitious notions about seeing killed parrots and kiping under the Moon.
Meanwhile the black people even though without compensation after being freed are non wholly incapacitated. When they come together and fire Coulibri Estate to the land, it is non merely an look of the power of the black community but besides of the overturned racial construction of the island. After the fire, the narrative becomes progressively fragmented as against the orderly, additive western construct of timekeeping. Antoinette`s recollection now is instead by idea associations which is integrated by images, aromas and sounds.
Rochester in portion two is cold factual storyteller who tries to warrant why his matrimony with Antoinette fails. He searches for hints of England in the unusual universe around him. Initially we see him utilizing the ‘travelling metaphor ‘ comparing the tropical raindrops to ‘hail on the foliages of the tree ‘ and the pale flowers to ‘snow on the unsmooth grass ‘ . His insecurity and fright is reflected in his imagination of the enormousness and shapelessness of the marginalized land. This harmonizing to Boehmer is a device whereby the uncomfortableness experienced by the coloniser was projected onto the native people and landscape. “ Everything is excessively much… Excessively much blue… ” Being in a distant topographic point off from the Centre his privileges as a white Englishman diminishes. We find him antagonized by the landscape that he subsequently associates with his married woman and her Creole background. When he and Antoinette discuss about which land is more existent he says that the West Indies is ‘quite unreal and like a dream ‘ demoing how the coloniser tries to contradict ‘the unreadability of the Other ‘ . Daniel Cosway represents the racially disconnected opposite number to Antoinette`s culturally split individuality with a white male parent and a black female parent. His missive is filled self-aggrandising racialist remarks about Creoles and himself doing Rochester cleaving to the worst suggestion in the message corroborating his intuition about the devolution and lunacy in the household of his married woman.
Cristophine is the most powerful insurgent voice in the novel who is wholly comfy with her racial individuality. She is a benevolent force in Antoinette offering her motherly security and advice. She is identified with Obeah supernatural powers feared by her people. Obeah faith is juxtaposed with Christianity in the novel perchance to demystify the charming facet of it and to demo how it is civilization particular of the black people`s individuality and history. Cristophine marginalizes England in her treatment with Antoinette by doubting its presence. ‘If there is this topographic point at all, one ne’er see it… ‘ . She, along with all the other black people, are non at all intimidated by the colonial presence which is apparent in the direct and bold confrontation they have with the Whites. Cristophine subsequently on reduces Cristophine to apery of her words as is apparent when her words echo in his caput. This is a reversal of the normal colonizer/colonized functions put frontward by Fanon which regards colonized as a mere parrot copying the master`s discourse. As with Antoinette`s visit to Cristophine, Rochester`s visit to Daniel besides show the reversal of the racial power construction as the white Creole and English coloniser seek aid from the purportedly marginalized people.