Wide Sargasso Sea

"wide sargaso sea is a study in unfulfillment,unreconciled oppositions and contrast".discuss

binary oppositions- black/white, sun/shade, life/death, day/night, slave/master, truth/fiction, past/present, sympathy/hatred, madness/sanity, male/female

Asked by
Last updated by jill d #170087
Answers 1
Add Yours

Enslavement is one of the novel's major themes:

Physical enslavement is an unreconciled opposition between the black/ white population, whereas life and death are represented by the conflicting emotions of the character Annette who feels imprisoned in her slavery (I think that this is obvious), but also abandoned by her husband to whom she's enslaved by love and devotion.

Madness and sanity are dealt with in the excerpt cited below;

"Womanhood intertwines with issues of enslavement and madness in Rhys’s novel. Ideals of proper feminine deportment are presented to Antoinette when she is a girl at the convent school. Two of the other Creole girls, Miss Germaine and Helene de Plana, embody the feminine virtues that Antoinette is to learn and emulate: namely, beauty, chastity and mild, even-tempered manners. Mother St. Justine’s praises of the “poised” and “imperturbable” sisters suggest an ideal of womanhood that is at odds with Antoinette’s own hot and fiery nature. Indeed, it is Antoinette’s passion that contributes to her melancholy and implied madness." (1)

The rest of what you're looking for here is available on this website; the link is provided below.


(1) SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Wide Sargasso Sea.” SparkNotes LLC. 2002. http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/sargasso/ (accessed December 3, 2011). http://www.gradesaver.com/wide-sargasso-sea/study-guide/major-themes/