Class Notes (1,100,000)
CA (650,000)
UOttawa (30,000)
ENG (1,000)
ENG 1120 (300)
Lecture 13

ENG 1120 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Jean Rhys, Glacis, Wrought Iron


Department
English
Course Code
ENG 1120
Professor
Breid Mc Ilkenny
Lecture
13

This preview shows pages 1-2. to view the full 8 pages of the document.
Wide Sargasso Sea
March 4, 2016
Focus on analysis, not description for the midterm
Jean Rhys, 1890-1979
- In 1924 came under the influence of Ezra Pound
The West Indies:
- Subject to colonisation from the late 16th century onward
- The European colonists were known as Creoles
Primarily made their wealth by farming sugar, using slaves
- Of significance in the novel
Jamaica: setting of part 1
Dominica: Second part of the novel, Rochester’s voice
Martinique: Where some characters come from (inc. Chritophine, As mother)
- Sargasso Sea: large area in the North Atlantic where ships often became trapped for
weeks
Wide Sargasso Sea, 1966:
- Postcolonial novel set just after the abolition of slavery in 1833
- A writing back of Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre, with Bertha/Antoinette as the
protagonist
Gives Bertha/Antoinette her own story
- Primarily narrated by the consciousness of Antoinette & Rochester (who is never named)
- Tri-part novel:
Part 1: Antoinette’s childhood in Jamaica, until adolescence
Part 2: Rochester’s story of his relationship with Antoinette in the West Indies
(Dominica)
Part 3: Antoinette’s account of her journey to England & her captivity
Grace Pool is also given a voice
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com

Only pages 1-2 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Discussion (+ ~12 page from prof’s edition):
Part 1:
- Antoinette’s family is very isolated, both physically and socially
Doesn’t feel safe
The death of the horse furthers this, as they no longer have any means of leaving
the house/getting to town
- Lots of nods to colonisation
- When the horse dies Antoinette pretends it didn’t happen, as if that will make it less real
- Pierre (As younger brother) is extremely sick, but his illness is never named/identified
Leads to further isolation as As mother to push her away
- The garden:
Described as similar to the garden of Eden, but has become overgrown & wild
- May speak to the disruption of order after slavery was abolished
Dead and living flowers are intermixed
- Antoinette shows signs of being emotionally fragile, even as a child
Foreshadows/a precursor to her later madness
- Chritophine:
Acts as a surrogate mother to Antoinette
Was originally a wedding gift to As mother, and is also form Martinique
Acts as a foil to As mother, C embraces her heritage, while As mother tries
desperately to fit in
Much blacker than the other people on the island
Dignified, very reserved (quiet voice & laugh)
- Almost regal (gold & yellow)
- Represents dignity and grace
Very much her own women, independent
Can speak English, French & patois
- As mother doesn’t trust anybody, will transfer to A later
Claims that the workers who remained at the house did it for selfish reasons, not
due to loyalty
- As is very much at one with nature (after ‘white cockroach’ incident), and it remains
significant to her throughout
- Tia doesn’t get direct speech, A reports what see says
Tia is supposed to be her friend, but she ends up taking both As money and her
dress
Mother doesn’t even realize that it is not As dress
- After’s As nightmare her mother is only concerned about Pierre, doesn’t care at all the A
is upset
- After As mother marriage to Mr. Mason
Dancing on the glacis is a seduction of Mason
Mason chose to marry As mother, when he could have his choice of other women
(including English women)
- The parrot is an emblem of imperialism, and/or freedom
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version

Only pages 1-2 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

- Blood on As face is symbolic of her first menstruation, & thus the end of her childhood
Cutting off her plait, is also symbolic of this
- That A mistakes it for a snake symbolizes that her childhood was toxic
Also plays off the symbolising of Coulibri as a corrupted Eden
Doesn’t want her hair to grow darker, as it may imply that she is mixed race
- After Pierre’s death As mother becomes very unstable & rejects A again
- The book is symbolic of the higher classes, and of colonialism
- Convent teaches humility & being well put together, calm temperament/reserve,
Is like a calmer/tamed Coulibri
Safe, but there is no adventure and not many options
Is ~14 when she arrives at the convent
A moves away from religion/faith, and the idea that she can’t be happy
- After she stops praying she feels happier & bolder, but less safe
- Second dream:
White is symbolic of destruction
Tree is representative of sex
Dreams are used as foreshadowing, make more sense when you look back after
reading the novel
- Nuns’ have a very passive approach to life, bad things will happen & it’s best not to think
too much about it, or do anything to stop it
“You must not concern…must have his little day.” (p. 51)
Part 2:
- Rochester feels like an outsider on the island, is much more detached than A
Is almost a parody of the English colonialist gentleman
Distrustful, sees Amélie as “Sly, spiteful, malignant perhaps, like everything else
in this place” (p. 55)
Doesn’t see A as English, or even European
Is already taking advantage of A and her hesitation
- R can’t deal with the scenery of Dominica, it is too wild, and too much for him
Doesn’t understand the West Indies, or know about the culture
- R seems to be attempting to justify his actions throughout his POV
Since he feels he has no power outside of his marriage, he revels in the power he
has within the marriage
The 30,000 pounds he gets for marrying A is reminiscent of Judas selling out JC
for 30 pieces of silver
- Christophine doesn’t like R from the beginning, & when they lock eyes R looks away
first
- That As door can be bolted foreshadows that R will imprison her later
- The wedding:
R feels as if everyone is judging & pitying him
Feels out of place, doesn’t like or trust anyone
- A decides on the day before the wedding that she won’t marry R, but they still end up
marrying
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version