Jane Eyre Wide Sargasso Sea Essay

1528 Words7 Pages
Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea haunts the narrative of Jane Eyre through the construction and recognition of the uncanny. Rhys incorporates the uncanny within her rewriting of Jane Eyre through the utilization of narrative devices and ambiguous representations of physical spaces. By rewriting Jane Eyre, Rhys attempts to construct a history that is not only detached from the dominant world established in Jane Eyre, but grounded within the hauntological realm of the Caribbean. The hauntological realm in which Rhys constructs, not only provides a degree of agency within a realm of uncertainty, but establishes a degree of restraint too.
Megan Mericle argued that both Jane Eyre (1847) and Wide Sargasso Sea (1966) suggests the liberation of their respective female protagonist from the oppressive conventions in which they find themselves captive (Mericle 2012, 236). While Brontë’s Jane Eyre asserts the independence of Jane Eyre to have derived through her escape from restrictive patriarchal conventions, Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea follows an alternative narrative where it is through repression that Antoinette
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Throughout Wide Sargasso Sea, Antoinette remains subject to Rochester’s physical control. Rochester exercises this control through renaming Antoinette, ‘Bertha’ (Rhys 2000, 86) and “marionette” (Rhys 2000, 99), to Antoinette’s inevitable confinement with the Thornfield attic (Rhys 2000, 115). Although Antoinette is physically confined within the attic, Grace Poole does not fail to mention that Antoinette has not however “lost her spirit” (Rhys 2000,116). Therefore, we need to look beyond the realm of the physical in order to discover spaces of liberation, spaces that are interestingly secretive, haunted, or merely
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