Jean Rhys 's Wide Sargasso Sea

1226 Words Oct 31st, 2015 5 Pages
Jean Rhys, born in 1890 on the Island of Dominica to a Welsh father and a creole (West Indian) mother experienced the difficulty of integrating into British culture due to her Caribbean origin struggling to create an identity for herself. In her novel ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ (1996) Rhys depicts how she was deeply influenced by this creole heritage, exploring the struggle of finding ones place and identity in relations to race. She contrasts the European discourse with the creole discourse, focusing on cultural displacement in particular for the colonised, marginalised and the construction of the ‘other,’ through her main narrator Antoinette, who shares this Creole heritage and struggles to find her position as she does not belong exclusively to either the Caribbean or English culture. In her essay ‘ Double Complexity in Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea’, Silvia Panizza put forth that the parallels between Jean Rhys and her heroine are so extensive, including special sensitivity, a troubled childhood and a painful struggle for identity and for a place in society, any society’ arguing that that ‘the complex mixture of characteristics that make up her personality cannot be ascribed to either nation.’ (Panizza, 1)

Antoinette is never truly accepted into either identity, as although her creole mother marries a Mr Mason an english man who is placed as the centre to the colonised black who find themselves at the periphery, the marriage is never truly understood, the neighbours laugh…
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