Essay about Charlotte Brontes Jane Eyre an

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How and why are selected canonical texts re-written by female authors? Answer with close reference to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea. The Sargasso Sea is a relatively still sea, lying within the south-west zone of the North Atlantic Ocean, at the centre of a swirl of warm ocean currents. Metaphorically, for Jean Rhys, it represented an area of calm, within the wide division between England and the West Indies. Within such an area, a sense of stability, permanence and identity may be attained, despite the powerful, whirling currents which surround it. But outside of this ‘sea’, one may be destabilised, drawn away by these outside forces, into the vast expanse of…show more content…
She also establishes a literary relationship between Jane and Antoinette, which Bronte does not describe. Rhys also invites comparison between Bronte and herself, in terms of the feminist writer. I shall consider these in due course. Rhys (p)reviews Jane Eyre by correspondences in thematic content and characterisation. Her book was written for very personal reasons and invited many comparisons with events in her own life. Antoinette represents the culmination of her female fictional characters. In Rhys’s fiction, for the leading lady, we can invariably read Rhys herself. I have therefore focused on those themes with direct relevance to Antoinette. There are a whole series of binary oppositions and comparisons considered by Rhys: Love-hate, fear-attraction, black-white, Anglican-Catholic, history-fiction, freedom-captivity, male-female, British-French. Their number, along with the clear lack of distinction between them, are indicative of the conflicting forces at work, both within Dominican society and those impacting on it from outside. The history of the country reflects both internal and external conflicts. Most notably, prior to 1834, between Britain and France. Two key, connected themes grounded in the social and cultural history of Dominica, are slavery and exploitation. The social and cultural shift created by the Emancipation Act 1833 was enormous: the enslaved were free and the
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