Wide Sargasso Sea

Wide Sargasso Sea

Jean Rhys / Sep 21, 2019

Wide Sargasso Sea If Antoinette Cosway a spirited Creole heiress could have foreseen the terrible future that awaited her she would not have married the young Englishman Initially drawn to her beauty and sensuality

  • Title: Wide Sargasso Sea
  • Author: Jean Rhys
  • ISBN: 9780241951552
  • Page: 255
  • Format: Paperback
  • If Antoinette Cosway, a spirited Creole heiress, could have foreseen the terrible future that awaited her, she would not have married the young Englishman Initially drawn to her beauty and sensuality, he becomes increasingly frustrated by his inability to reach into her soul He forces Anoinette to conform to his rigid Victorian ideals, unaware that in taking away her ideIf Antoinette Cosway, a spirited Creole heiress, could have foreseen the terrible future that awaited her, she would not have married the young Englishman Initially drawn to her beauty and sensuality, he becomes increasingly frustrated by his inability to reach into her soul He forces Anoinette to conform to his rigid Victorian ideals, unaware that in taking away her identity he is destroying a part of himself as well as pushing her towards madness.Set against the lush backdrop of 1830s Jamaica, Jean Rhys s haunting novel was inspired by the first Mrs Rochester, the mad wife in Charlotte Bront s Jane Eyre.

    Wide Sargasso Sea Wide Sargasso Sea is a novel by Dominica born British author Jean Rhys.The author lived in obscurity after her previous work, Good Morning, Midnight, was published in .She had published other novels between these works, but Wide Sargasso Sea caused a revival of interest in Rhys and her work and was her most commercially successful novel. It is a feminist and anti colonial response to Wide Sargasso Sea Wide Sargasso Sea is an attempt to catch the Brazilian poet Ana Cristina Cesar, who killed herself at the age of , in Icon of the marginal literature generation of Rio de Janeiro in See full summary

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      255 Jean Rhys
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      Published :2018-010-17T08:42:51+00:00

    About "Jean Rhys"

      • Jean Rhys

        Jean Rhys, originally Ella Gwendolen Rees Williams, was a Caribbean novelist who wrote in the mid 20th century Her first four novels were published during the 1920s and 1930s, but it was not until the publication of Wide Sargasso Sea in 1966 that she emerged as a significant literary figure A prequel to Charlotte Bront s Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea won a prestigious WH Smith Literary Award in 1967.Rhys was born in Dominica a formerly British island in the Caribbean to a Welsh father and Scottish mother She moved to England at the age of sixteen, where she worked unsuccessfully as a chorus girl In the 1920s, she relocated to Europe, traveling as a Bohemian artist and taking up residence sporadically in Paris During this period, Rhys lived in near poverty, while familiarising herself with modern art and literature, and acquiring the alcoholism that would persist through the rest of her life Her experience of a patriarchal society and feelings of displacement during this period would form some of the most important themes in her work.


    260 Comments


    1. Bertha Mason is the madwoman in the attic; she is the raving lunatic that is Rochester’s first wife in Jane Eyre,but have you ever stopped to wonder what her side of the story is? Have you ever considered that she may have a tale to tell? Jean Rhys has, and she tells it to you in all its traumatic colours. Our crazy lunatic isn’t that far from Jane. Bronte describes her as a semi-human, an animal that growls and raves as she stalks the hall of Thornfield like some unidentifiable spectre. But [...]


    2. In short - incoherent overpraised rubbish. I have read my share of classics over the years. Some of them were boring, some outside the area of my interest, but never had I come across one that was so dreadfully bad and at the same time so critically acclaimed.I simply can't comprehend how this jumble of disjointed sentences can be seriously called a "masterpiece." The story was almost impossible to follow. Had I not read "Jane Eyre," I'd be lost in this book completely. The characters' motivatio [...]


    3. Probably contains some spoilers“Our garden was large and beautiful as that garden in the Bible – the tree of life grew there. But it had gone wild. The paths were overgrown and a smell of dead flowers mixed with the fresh living smell. Underneath the tree ferns, tall as forest trees, the light was green. Orchids flourished out of reach or for some reason not to be touched. One was snaky looking, another like an octopus with long thin brown tentacles bare of leaves hanging from a twisted root [...]


    4. Beware of a few Jane Eyre spoilers if you've managed to live your life so far without a) reading it, or b) knowing what happens.One thing that really gets on my nerves is when an author writes a book about another author's story/character/whatever and you cannot understand or appreciate what you are being given unless you read the first author's work. Now, I have read Jane Eyre many times, but If I hadn't I would have been clueless as to what Rhys was babbling on about here. For me, this book re [...]


    5. Every once in a while, I stop to think about the neglected characters in various novels who exist only as plot devices. What are their stories? If you saw the novel through their eyes, what would it be like?Therefore, ever since I heard the premise of Jean Rhys's novel, I was eager to read it. Bertha, Mr. Rochester's first wife, must have had a life other than as the "madwoman in the attic". I do not know if Charlotte Bronte ever thought about it, but Ms. Rhys obviously did, and this compellingl [...]


    6. 5 "erratic, ecstatic and hypnotic" stars !!This book is such a wonderful dark counterpoint to Jane Eyre. I was inspired to write a poem rather than a review and I hope you enjoy itAntoinetteAntoinette by day, Bertha by twilightThe white cockroach of CoulibriBold & BeautifulMad and Fiery as HadesDaughter of slaveowner, philanderer, villainMired in mayombe and voodooand the saints of the dark godesseson the isle of JamaicaNineteen lovers or was it ninety nineNo matterme are real but all are im [...]


    7. I think the idea of one author piggy-backing, uninvited, on the characters and plot of another, is decidedly dodgy. However, this is widely regarded as a classic, and as I've read Jane Eyre many times (review here: /review/show/), I thought I should finally try this prequel novella.With such well-known books, I don't think it's a spoiler to say this imagines the story of the mad first wife in Rochester's attic: from her childhood in Jamaica, through to her marriage to Rochester, and a final epil [...]


    8. An epic romance made meek, singular, aromatic, ethereal, surreal. A fresh little nugget of splendor, of much-needed prose perfection. This is gothic romance at its absolute height. (It's perhaps the best piece of fan-fiction ever.) And I say this as "WSS" is in actuality a side story formulated for the emblematic crazed woman smack in the middle of "Jane Eyre". But it takes a life of its own merging elements of brutal nature and brutal nurture both, to birth a spectacle like one I've never exper [...]


    9. I don't think I really understood this book at first, but after I finished it, I went looking around online for more info about it and it clicked. This book is a prequel to Jane Eyre to be read after you read Jane Eyre. Reading it before you read Jane Eyre will probably spoil some of it for you. Also, as a stand alone book without referrence to Jane Eyre, I don't think it is a particularly interesting book.The story for me was a bit flat. I didn't fully understand the motivation of the character [...]


    10. Fear of the fallen myth syndrome is what has prevented me from reading this book for years. You have to understand, Jane Eyre was my first "adult" novel. I was still a tomboy who had only read Enid Blyton's "The Secret Seven" when one scorching summer day the torn spine of a seemingly ancient book caught my attention among a few volumes sitting on my Godmother's shelves. I remember that summer as one of the best of my life, and while Jane became my personal heroine and I developed a fervent crus [...]


    11. Anytime a writer takes on the idea of writing or rewriting another writers story or characters, they are treading on delicate, even sacred ground. Especially in this instance, you are talking about an iconic work, a masterpiece, the gold standard of classic English literature, Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte. But somehow Jean Rhys pulls it off without too much damage to the original work, and let's face it, Bertha needed to have her story told. Bertha's real name is Antoinette Cosway, and this is [...]


    12. As many of you who read my reviews are aware, I had devoted this summer to exclusively reading female writers, as my reading list was woefully lacking in books written by the fairer sex. It has been an exceptional experience for me as it has opened my eyes to such great writers as Flannery O’Connor, Virginia Woolf, Alice Munro and the incomparable Jean Rhys.Jean Rhys! I feel I owe a debt to the original publishers of Wide Sargasso Sea because if not for its publication her exceptional early wo [...]


    13. Oct.11,1964 Sitting in bed. Scribbling. Using a pencil instead of pen for the ink spills over while I shake. Influence of cheap wine. Sometimes I get out of control, freaky. My neighbors think I am mad. Ha! What do they know of madness? Who knows of madness? People only see what is there before their eyes. Who bothers to think how the despair creeps inside, shutting out the doors to the World permanently? I look at the copy of Jane Eyre kept on the table by my side. I fill with rage. No one thou [...]


    14. "I watched her die many times. In my way, not in hers. In sunlight, in shadow, by moonlight, by candlelight. In the long afternoons when the house was empty. Only the sun was there to keep us company. We shut him out. And why not? Very soon she was as eager for what's called loving as I was - more lost and drowned afterwards."Forget the Jane Eyre parallel, you don't need it. This book encapsulates the melancholy of evolving times and evolving minds and it measures human decency. Just when one th [...]


    15. A few years ago, I happened to have a chat with an old friend. We were catching up after a long time and like most friends do, we picked up our favorite teen (innocent) crimes to gorge on. One of our best memoirs was of those sprints we made to the nearby movie hall to grab the tickets of a show at the penultimate minute of the show time. And we were suddenly overcome by the desire to relive those days. Since I was visiting her city, I let her choose the movie hall and the movie. She quipped tha [...]


    16. 4.5/5And if the razor grass cut my legs I would think 'It's better than people.' Black ants or red ones, tall nests swarming with white ants, rain that soaked me to the skin - once I saw a snake. All better than people.Better. Better, better than people.Imagine you are owned. Not from day one, not full physically either, but the brief taste of the former and the dire potential of the latter is enough to make you scream. For scream is not only what you can do but what you are expected to do, you, [...]


    17. Jean Rhys provides an atmospheric backdrop to Jane Eyre, asking some obvious questions and posing some difficult questions. The slave trade and its profits are behind much of the nouveaux riches of the eighteenth century and their country houses; especially in the west of England and around the port cities of Bristol and Liverpool. The novel addresses the aftermath of the end of slavery and juxtaposes another sort of slavery; marriage. The link is an obvious one; the marriage is arranged by Anto [...]


    18. Love’s Fierce Play"Wide Sargasso Sea" is both a parallel novel with respect to "Jane Eyre" and a novel that could stand alone, if read with no knowledge of the connection. It explores the Caribbean background of the marriage of [Bertha] Antoinette Mason to an unnamed Englishman (presumably Edward Rochester) and their return to England, where she is confined to a room in a "great house" (or is it made, as she believes, of cardboard?). Antoinette is a Creole, her origins being half-English and h [...]


    19. Wide Sargasso Sea is one of those works of fiction, like Ulysses, which require background knowledge to fully appreciate. In that sense it is more a work of literature to enjoy from a distance rather than emotionally. Intellectual love is perhaps the best way I can phrase how I appreciated this novel.Having read Jane Eyre makes one able to properly understand the intricacies of the story unfolded in this novel. Jean Rhys uses the 'mad woman' of Jane's story to look at events in a previous histor [...]


    20. Jean Rhys takes us to the West Indies, an environment that is heavy, languid, stifling, and claustrophobic. It is not surprising that people go insane here, what is surprising is that anyone is able to keep their sanity. In this world of mysticism, racial mixtures and moving boundaries, is born the tragedy that becomes the catalyst to one of the greatest love stories of all time. But that is after, this story belongs, not to the governess, but to the wife.Antoinette Cosway is a girl who is press [...]


    21. ***ALL SPOILERS HIDDEN***Published 119 years after Jane Eyre, the famous classic that inspired it, Wide Sargasso Sea is Jean Rhys’s attempt to give Bertha Mason (here going primarily by the name “Antoinette Cosway”) a detailed back story. Rhys's basic vision was a strong one but unfortunately overall problematic. She imagined Antoinette as a Creole girl in a gorgeously lush and verdant Jamaica, with the story opening at the height of political and racial tensions there. Unfortunately, this [...]


    22. How do we as mere humans define the term “madness” or even know what madness is as defined in everyday society? Does it take an external factor such as the case of a gunman who “arbitrarily” goes into a classroom and shoots innocent children; a person who robs someone and decides to stab or strangle him/her as the choice may be, or is it purely an internal “genetic illness” that gradually erodes into the psyche of a person hurtling him/her down a path from which there is no return, t [...]


    23. 4,5 Sterne.Zauber und Wahnsinn der Karibik"Jeden Tag beobachteten wir den Sonnenuntergang von dem strohgedeckten Pavillon aus. Wir beobachteten den Himmel und das ferne, in Flammen stehende Meer - alle Farben waren in diesem Feuer enthalten, und die mächtigen Wolken waren von Flammen umrandet und durchschossen. Ich wartete auf den Duft der Blumen aum Fluss - sie öffneten sich, wenn die Dunkelheit hereinbrach, und sie brach schnell herein. Keine Nacht oder Dunkelheit, wie ich sie kannte, sonder [...]


    24. "Very soon she'll join all the others who know the secret and will not tell it. Or cannot. Or try and fail because they do not know enough. They can be recognized. White faces, dazed eyes, aimless gestures, high-pitched laughter. The way they walk and talk and scream or try to kill (themselves or you) if you laugh back at them. Yes, they've got to be watched. For the time comes when they try to kill, then disappear. But others are waiting to take their places, it's a long, long line. She's one o [...]


    25. Jean Rhys, a Creole woman from Dominica, writes back to the racist and ableist strand in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, which painted a woman with the same background as Rhys as a monstrous lunatic, locked away on the third floor of the house. Rhys tells the story of this character from childhood, seeking the roots of her tragedy.This melancholic, shadowy, evocative, power-shifting book, elegantly and beautifully written, is a much needed reproof to a literary tradition which has presumed to spea [...]


    26. I loved Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, but the character in that book I was most interested in wasn’t Jane, it was Mr. Rochester’s “mad wife in the attic,” Bertha. I felt sorry for Bertha. I didn’t feel she was treated right. I also wanted to know more about her. I was fascinated by Bertha. I wanted to know where she came from and what it was that drove her mad. In Jane Eyre, Bertha is a raving lunatic, almost inhuman. But something had to drive this poor woman insane. Surely Rocheste [...]


    27. The book is brief so it's not that hard to reach the end, but I found it rather pointless and it left me completely, absolutely, utterly unimpressed. Maybe it's my fault, but that's what happened.(In case you're wondering, yes, I have read Jane Eyre.)


    28. This is actually really good. It's like the source material of Jane Eyre, except more so. Claustrophobic, socially incisive, complex, maddening.


    29. I think 90s indie-pop starlet Natalie Imbruglia best sums up my feelings about this book in her most famous song. I am 'torn'Edward. MY Edward Rochester. You've changedOh this is a tricky one to review and figure out how it is I feel about this book as the source material is just ever present in my mind. I'm going to pop the remainder of my review in spoiler tags, not because my review is that spoilery in relation to this book but, because it contains MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR JANE EYRE!!!!!!!! If yo [...]


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