Jane Eyre

The Struggles of the Heroines in Wide Sargasso Sea and Jane Eyre

Antoinette Cosway in Wide Sargasso Sea and Jane Eyre in Jane Eyre are both relatively isolated women struggling to survive in a male-dominated society. Although both women are striving to attain similar goals of happiness, equality, and a sense of selfhood or identity, the former fails and the latter succeeds. Their divergent outcomes are due to the contrasting manners in which they attempt to achieve their goals and the different amounts of self-motivation and independence which they possess.

Firstly, Jane and Antoinette are both in pursuit of the same Mr. Rochester, in addition to their similar goals of self-completion. The manner in which each woman attempts to achieve her goals, however, contrasts greatly.

Antoinette attempts to achieve three qualities via Mr. Rochester. She is unhappy from her childhood, and at one point during her marriage to Mr. Rochester, she states that if he were to love her, she would be happy. Happiness, in turn, would help her to gain a sense of selfhood and equality, because it would give her the confidence to assert her identity and the courage to make herself Rochester's equal. So, Antoinette tries to force him to love her by drugging him and seducing him. Unfortunately, this act angers him so...

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