Teacher Guide

Wide Sargasso Sea Lesson Plan

Introduction to Wide Sargasso Sea

Wide Sargasso Sea was first published in 1966. It remains the Jean Rhys's most commercially and critically successful novel, and has received acclaim as a work of feminist and post-colonial literature.

Wide Sargasso Sea offers commentary on Charlotte Brontë's novel Jane Eyre by imagining the life story of Bertha, Rochester's infamous mad first wife. Jane herself does not appear as a character in the novel at all. Instead, Bertha (or Antoinette, as she is called in Wide Sargasso Sea) is fleshed out into a complex and sympathetic character, the tortured victim of cruelty and mental illness. The novel first follows Antoinette's isolated, impoverished childhood in post-Emancipation Jamaica,...

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