Selden provinces that, Rhys presents the thought of a adult female as an captive victim oppressed by the criterions and ideals predominating in the patriarchal, phallogecentric society dominated by the male signifier of Son, linguistic communication ( selden139 ) .
Rhys female supporter is the victim of domination and humiliation due to the system of patriarchal and colonial subjugation which is prevailing in England and Jamaica. In Wide Sargasso Sea Jean Rhys reveals patriarchal power as dominating and unhealthy. These patriarchal power constructions are present in economic, legal, household and educational systems in Rhys ‘s novel. This patriarchal power affects the lives of all the characters in Rhys ‘s novel because they all belong to a patriarchal society.
This is the narrative of Antoinette ‘s Cosway who is isolated by her Victorian hubby who locked her up and drives her mad. She is left entirely by her hubby in the patriarchal society and go incapacitated and trapped like a ship struck in Sargasso Sea by the British. Through her portraiture of female characters in her novel, Rhys exposes how adult females are lawfully and financially dependent on work forces around them. When we consider the state of affairs of Antoinette ‘s female parent, Annette, who is economically dependent upon work forces, we can at one time notice that in patriarchal society economic inequality exist. When Annette ‘s first hubby died, she thinks that her 2nd matrimony is the opportunity for her to get away from her life at Coulibri where she is rejected by inkinesss because of her Creole heritage and may be able to recover position among her equals.
Maria olaussen states that, Annette signifies the gender political orientation in the patriarchal economic system, since she need to be provided for by work forces. She uses her beauty as her lone means to vie with other adult females in hunt for English protection and economic support ( Olausen103 ) . When Wide Sargasso Sea was written it was that clip when matrimony was considered as a mean to acquire economic support.
Antoinette is non able to liberate herself from Rochester ‘s ferociousness and inhuman treatment because she has no fiscal independency. All of the money was given to her hubby, Mr. Rochester when she married him. In Victorian times, there was a jurisprudence that adult females could non keep belongings in their names, even if they inherited that belongings from their parents. It was still in the detention of their hubbies.
Patriarchal jurisprudence prohibits adult females from inheriting money if there is a boy in the household, the heritage runs in the male line. Mr. Mason ‘s boy, Richard Mason, represents patriarchal jurisprudence, since, he after his male parent ‘s decease, become the lawful supplier and defender of Antoinette. He makes her determinations and arranges her matrimony to Mr. Rochester, without consent ( olaussen108-9 ) .
The women’s rightist Mary Wollstonecraft, who wrote in 1972 about patriarchal instruction systems in Vindications of the Rights of adult females, questioned why merely work forces were prepared for professions and non adult females. She believed that, this was the ground for adult females ‘s demands for matrimony ; they had to get married in order to be economically supported ( wollstonecraft150 ) .
But Jean Rhys in Wide Sargasso Sea denies Wollstonecraft theories in one facet, that matrimony with Antoinette is necessary for Mr. Rochester because he will non inherit from his male parent as he is the youngest boy in the household. By get marrieding Antoinette, he saves her wealth and in this manner she becomes wholly economically dependent upon Mr. Rochester. In the patriarchal household constructions of Victorian epoch, male parent has authorization over his married woman and his kids. Womans and kids are lawfully and economically dependent upon their male parents or hubbies. Mr. Rochester uses his patriarchal power to drive Antoinette loony. She is dependent upon him because of the patriarchal power constructions in society ( both lawfully and economically ) and hence, it is non possible for her to go forth Mr. Rochester.
In Wide Sargasso Sea, matrimony increases the wealth of work forces by leting them power to possess their married womans heritage. If we critically analyze the status of Annette and Antoinette muliebrity is similar to a sort of kid like dependance on the nearest work forces. In fact, it is the dependance that contributes to the tragic terminal of both Annette and Antoinette. Both adult females marry white English work forces in the hopes of pacifying their frights as vulnerable foreigners, but both work forces betray and abandon them.
As Teresa O’Connor puts it, the degree of betrayal scopes from the cultural and historical implicit in the relationship between inkinesss and Whites to the familical and filial degrees.
In Wide Sargasso Sea, it appears that the one quality of Antoinette that best express her through out the novel is her dependence in others. From her friendly relationship with Tia, to her matrimony with Rochester, Antoinette is merely in hunt for felicity. After the firing down of her house by the slaves in portion one, Antoinette has no 1 in her life, and she is all entirely. Her brother Perrie dies and her female parent gets huffy, hence, she marries Rochester because she wants to experience safe once more. She needs person to protect her from the maltreatment that her female parent experiences through out her life as a individual adult female. You are safe, I ‘d state. She ‘d wish that-to be told you are safe. Or I ‘d touch her gently and touch her cryings ( pg.78 ) . These lines from Mr. Rochester shows that Antoinette wants to be feel safe and secure.
Since Rhys is a West-Indian, she wants to uncover a truth about the bound of literary criterions that supposes a shared white heritage in its audience. She draws an uncomplimentary image of patriarchal society in the word picture of Mr. Mason. When Annette describes the problems of her sister ‘s married life to and specially describes her hubby ‘s oppressive and ruling behaviour to Mr. Mason, his reply to Annette was, that ‘s her narrative. I do n’t believe it. He successfully and unsympathetically silences the Creole adult females ‘s voice. Rhys wanted to give voice to this soundless adult female and raise this soundless adult females voice in her fresh Wide Sargasso Sea.
In patriarchal society the adult male is the superior and educated being. Mr. Rochester gets irritated by Antoinette when he tries to learn her about England and she denies the beauty of industrialised England in comparing with West Indies.
Is it true, she said, that England is like a dream? Well, I answered annoyed, that is exactly how your beautiful island seems to me, rather unreal and like a dream.
But how can rivers and mountains and the sea be unreal? And how can 1000000s of people, their houses and their streets be unreal? More easy, she said, much more easy. Yes a large metropolis must be like a dream ( pg67 )
Mr. Rochester feels embarrassment in accepting his married woman ‘s superior cognition about the West Indies, as he is wholly a Victorian, patriarchal Englishman. Antoinette tries to learn about the nature and life of West Indies because he is a new comer in her island. But Mr. Rochester is that sort of a individual who believes that to be taught by a adult female is a mark of failing and lower status. He belongs to that class of work forces who wants to keep their high quality over adult females. This is the ground that Mr. Rochester opposes his married woman ‘s constructs about England and West Indies. The patriarchal educational system of the eighteenth century was criticized by Mary Wollstonecraft, who wrote that work forces preserved adult females ‘s artlessness by maintaining them ignorant ( 131 ) .
If she was a kid she was non a stupid kid but an stubborn 1. She frequently questioned me about England and listened attentively to my replies, but I was certain that nil I said made much difference. Her head was already made up. Some romantic novel, a star comment ne’er forgotten, a study, a image, a vocal, a walk-in, some note of music, and her thoughts were fixed. About England and about Europe. I could non alter them and likely nil would. World might discontent her, perplex her, hurt her, but it would non be world. It would be merely a error, a bad luck, a incorrect way taken, her fixed thoughts would ne’er alter.
Nothing that I told her influenced her at all ( pg78 ) .
This statement shows that Antoinette ‘s opposition in his effort to educate her annoys him. He feels that he can non act upon her ideas and thoughts. Therefore, he is scared to accept his deficiency of cognition because it would take to his loss of control over her.
Teresa F. O ‘ Connor explains that Mr. Rochester, who comes from the male-identified England, is protected by Antoinette when he lives in her female identified West Indies. I agree with Teresa F. O ‘ Connor that their functions are reversed and that Mr. Rochester is afraid of happening himself in a female function in a female universe ( 148-49 ) .
Personal calamities which are founded in patriarchal societies are expressed through dramatisation, imagination and word picture right from the gap pages. All the characters in Wide Sargasso Sea are imprisoned in patriarchal societal construction and it lead to their tragic terminal. In proposing, the common working of fascism, racism and businessperson patriarchate, the persecutory power of the modern faith of intolerance ( carr12 ) . Rhys echoes Virginia Woolf, who argued in Three Guineas that, patriarchate, racism, ostentation, militarism, economic development, autarchy and fascism are all portion of the same procedure ( carr51 ) .
Rhys reveals the concealed working of patriarchate by explicating how both Antoinette and Rochester are trapped and conditioned by the dominant patriarchal jurisprudence. The matrimony of Antoinette and Rochester is set in the patriarchal universe. If we read Wide Sargasso Sea on deeper degree we can see that Rochester ‘s matrimony to Antoinette is parallel to a concern contract. His statement that, I will swear you if you trust me? Would look to show that he does non desire to give the unconditioned security and love which she desires. However, by expressing the line, is it a deal? It gives us a hint that what are the existent motivations of Rochester for get marrieding Antoinette. Everyone knows that Bargain is an economic term and it does non be in the matrimony of two people. But this matrimony is like a deal for Rochester, because he is able to derive wealth which he desired for and Antoinette is able to experience safe after all the agonies which she faces in portion one of the Wide Sargasso Sea. Rhys portrays Rochester as a individual who implies the patriarchal set of Torahs ( sexism, colonialism, the English jurisprudence and the jurisprudence which the patriarchal society imposes and which creates saneness and insanity ) that trapped Antoinette Cosway.
Both the female characters Annette and Antoinette are sexually exploited in this patriarchal universe. Work force in the patriarchal society can be seen as autocrats holding every right to strip adult females from their artlessness. They demoralized adult females ‘s gender and artlessness in the same manner as falcon hunts its quarry. As Rhys writes, the work forces did as they liked. The women-never. In Wide Sargasso Sea, Rhys illustrates that work forces consider adult females as a pieces of sexual pleasance. They take adult females for granted and see them as a life less animal, non holding feelings and emotions like a doll. The most of import episode in the novel is the scene of Antoinette ‘s female parent with the black adult male. It besides contains the motive of race and sex which are cardinal in the novel. As Antoinette says in the text retrieving the weakness and hurting of her female parent,
I remember the frock she was wearing-an eventide frock cut really low, and she was barefooted. There was a fat black adult male with a glass of rum in his manus. He said imbibe it and you will bury. She drank it without halting. I saw his oral cavity fasten on hers and she went all soft and hitch in his weaponries and he laughed.
This incident happened when Annette was under the return attention of black twosome. After the firing down of her house and decease of her boy Perrie she starts exhibiting the marks of emotionally imbalanced adult female. Therefore, Mr. Mason assigned black twosome to take attention of her. This scene depicts the subjection of adult females by male authorization in a patriarchal universe. This scene has besides its roots grounded in racial struggles. The female parent ‘s awful status is clearly the consequence of retaliation on the proprietors of Coulibri by the black slaves. After the emancipation act black slaves wants to take retaliation on their ex-slaves proprietors because of the brutal intervention which they receive from the custodies of white people.
In Victorian society, work forces treat adult females cruelly. They think adult females are merely at that place for them to supply sexual pleasances. Antoinette and Rochester ‘s matrimony can be seen in this position. Mr. Rochester merely appreciates Antoinette for her external beauty. I wonder why I ne’er realized how beautiful she was. This statement shows that Mr. Rochester is merely sexually attracted towards his married woman. He has merely a sexual lecherousness for her and this yearn does non demo a true feeling of love for her. Even Mr. Rochester confesses this sort of feeling for her married woman. He states, I did non love her. I was thirsty for her, but that is non love. I felt really small tenderness for her, she was a alien to me, a alien who did non believe or experience as I did ( pg78 ) .
Harmonizing to Howells, Rochester belongs to that patriarchal universe where adult females are luxury points to be bought, enjoyed and discarded.
Through out the novel, Mr. Rochester is systematically shown as being hostile, cruel and unloving towards her married woman. Christophine tells Antoinette, that he is difficult as a board. He belongs to that patriarchal universe where work forces substitutes love with sex and domination. He wants to interrupt Antoinette up like an aggressive warrior. As Christophine keeps reiterating to him, all you want is to interrupt her up ( 126 ) .
In all of Rhys ‘s plants gender is the most of import subject. It was largely due to the thought that work forces dominate adult females in all facets. They want control and repress adult females ‘s sexually. And Rochester here is non merely shown as a patriarchal hubby but he is besides shown as a Victorian who believes that adult females gender should be repressed. Here Rhys illustrates that work forces want to associate adult females with decease, merely for the ground to command and stamp down them. They kill adult females to quash them and here Rochester does the same thing to Antoinette. Die so! Die! I watched her die many times. In my manner, non in hers. In sunshine, in shadow, by moonshine, by candle visible radiation. In the long afternoons, when the house was empty. Merely the Sun was at that place to maintain us company ( Rhys pg.77 ) .
Angier indicate Rhys ‘s thought about work forces and love, work forces rob love with sex ( Angier543 ) .
In the Victorian patriarchal society, work forces think about sex equivalent to love. They believed that feeling of love and sex is likewise. Therefore, when Antoinette offers herself to love her, Rochester replies her lone with sexual desires because has no feeling of love for her. He is cold in his feelings of love for Antoinette and hence, he is emotionally a rock. This shows Mr. Rochester ‘s patriarchal and unloving attitude towards her which kills Antoinette emotionally and she transforms into a Zombie, a life dead, in Voodoo or Obeah.
In Wide Sargasso Sea, Mr. Rochester has been shown as the ultimate in patriarchal dictatorship, but other male characters in this novel besides exhibit deep-seated feelings of misogynism, including Mr. Mason and Daniel. Rhys undoubtedly plaints these work forces who deprived all of the female characters in this novel from their bureau. Conventional facets are traditionally associated with adult females, such as holding leaning to mental unwellness, or being unlogical, frivolous, depended, cosmetic, low-level, intriguing, manipulative, weak, covetous, dish the dirting, vulnerable and fallacious. Marriage of Antoinette and Rochester is marked with intuition, treachery and misconstruing right from the beginning of their matrimony.
When Mr. Rochester receives the missive from Antoinette ‘s half brother, Daniel Cosway, in which Daniel has written about Antoinette ‘s mad female parent and her rummy male parent, he is non surprised. And when he came to cognize about Antoinette ‘s love matter with her cousin Sandy, he became more aggressive and barbarous towards her. The feeling of jealousy takes control of him. Thus the issue of trust is play out between Rochester and Antoinette ‘s relationship.
Although Mr. Rochester is merely concerned with material success as Christophine says to Rochester, Everybody know that you marry her for her money and you take it all. And so you want to interrupt her up, because you covetous of her ( pg125 ) . This statement reveals the fact that Rochester married Antoinette merely for her money and does non love her. But still he wants to possess her in order to demo his patriarchal power over her. He believes that she belongs to him and is hence non allowed to go forth him and love person else. I tell you she loves no 1, anyone. I could non touch her. Expecting as the hurricane will touch that tree-and interruption it. You say I did? No. that was loves ferocious drama. Now I ‘ll make it. She ‘ sick non laugh in the Sun once more. She ‘ll non dress up and smile at herself in that execrable looking glass. So pleased, so satisfied. Vain, silly animal. Made for loving? Yes, but she ‘ll hold no lover, for I do n’t desire her and she ‘ll see no other ( Rhys 136 ) .
Though, Mr. Rochester feel hatred towards Antoinette, he still feels that she belongs to him. He does non desire Antoinette to take an independent life, because it would ensue in fring his patriarchal power and laterality over his married woman. Therefore, he refuses to allow her go forth him. Despite the fact that Mr. Rochester married Antoinette merely for her money, he still feels that he is attracted towards her married woman ‘s alien beauty and the beauty of her island. He does non desire to fall for their appeals and impressiveness and therefore he denies the attractive force he feels towards the island and his married woman.
I hated the mountains and the hills, the rivers and the rains. I hated the sundowns of whatever colour, I hated its beauty and its thaumaturgy and the secret I would ne’er cognize. I hated its indifference and the inhuman treatment which was portion of its comeliness. Above all I hated her. For she belonged to the thaumaturgy and the comeliness. She had left me thirsty and all my life would be thirst and hankering for what I had lost before I found it ( Rhys ) .
This citation describes Mr. Rochester as a coloniser. As an Englishman, he wants to colonise both his married woman and her island. His rigorous Victorian genteelness and patriarchal values makes him haunted with control and laterality. He does non desire to fall love with her married woman and her island, even though he is attracted towards them, because of the fact that he wants to keep his patriarchal power to command and rule them. Therefore, by moving blindly to the attractive forces he feels towards his married woman and her island, he condemns Antoinette and her universe and in this manner he tries to protect himself.
All the agonies and wretchednesss which Antoinette suffers through out her life are due to the fact that in Victorian patriarchal society adult females were considered to be the beginning to convey sexual pleasances to their hubbies. Men treat adult females in the same mode as person treat the retainer or an animate being. Womans in Victorian societies are thought to be weak, incapacitated animals that are unable to believe for themselves. Men believed that it was the jurisprudence of bible that males are superior to females, hence they have a right to handle them as they like.