A Patriarchal Society By Jean Rhys 's Wide Sargasso Sea

801 Words Oct 12th, 2015 4 Pages
A patriarchal society is a world in which men are the sole decision makers and hold positions of power. As a result, women are introduced to a world made by men, and a history refined by a man 's actions. In Jean Rhys 's Wide Sargasso Sea, conceptions of gender are purposefully problematized. Women characters such as Antoinette and Christophine are pitilessly exposed to constraints of an imperial world.Wide Sargasso Sea presents a modern form of feminism which takes into account the intricacy of male-female interactions to find that efforts to surpass gender norms are despairing.

In the marriage of Mr. Rochester and Antoinette, Mr. Rochester is as an oppressive force, a husband who wants to dominate his wife. We see Mr.Rochester’s dominance in how he treats his wife as an object and ultimately muddles her identity. His initial dominance is economic; upon their marriage, he owns all of her wealth and we see the consequence of this dynamic when Antoinette asks Christophine for help in improving her marriage. Christophine advises her to just "pack up and go" to which Antoinette tells her that Rochester "will not come after [her]" because she has "no money of [her] own..everything [she] had belongs to him" under English law (69). Clearly economically powerless, Antoinette is dependant on her husband and unable to escape a loveless marriage and start over. Mr. Rochester 's economic stability grants him power, leaving Antionette as the woman in the marriage, oppressed because…
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