Voyage in the Dark


Voyage in the Dark was written in 1934 by Jean Rhys.[1] It tells of the semi-tragic descent of its young protagonist Anna Morgan, who is moved from her Caribbean home to England by an uncaring stepmother, after the death of her father. Once she leaves school, and she is cut off financially by the stepmother, Hester, Anna tries to support herself as a chorus girl, then becomes involved with an older man named Walter who supports her financially. When he leaves her, she begins a downward spiral. Like William Faulkner's The Wild Palms, the novel features a botched illegal abortion. Rhys' original version of Voyage in the Dark ended with Anna dying from this abortion (see Bonnie Kime Scott's The Gender of Modernism for the original ending), but she revised it before publication to the more ambivalent and modernist ending in which Anna survives to return to her now-shattered life "all over again." The novel is rich in Caribbean folklore and tradition and post-colonial identity politics, including black self-identification by its white protagonist.

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