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The opening pages of Wide Sargasso Sea set a dark and ominous tone that will pervade the entire work. Two instances of death occur within the first two pages of the text - that of the Cosway's neighbor Mr. Luttrell and that of Annette's beloved horse. Antoinette describes both deaths in succinct and unemotional terms. Mr. Luttrell, she says matter-of-factly, got impatient waiting for the money he was owed for his slaves, and so he "shot his dog, swam out to sea and was gone for always." The horse, she explains, was "was lying down under the frangipani tree... he was not sick, he was dead and his eyes were black with flies." Such images of decay reinforce Rhys's theme of British imperialistic decline.