Literature in English
Wide Sargasso Sea
Ending of WSS: Different Spaces and the Madness
English House vs. the Caribbean Spaces
Antoinette in the house
the garden in
Coulibri and the forests in both Coulibri and Granbois
the "enclosed garden"
dreams. --> a house with "thick walls," "blazing fires and the crimson
and white rooms." (106)
places without looking
glass: the convent (p.32) the house in England (Thornfield in Jane Eyre)
"a black and cruel world
to a woman" for Grace (106)
"[their world] is, as
I always knew, made of cardboard" (p.107)What is the significance of
this metaphor? Why does Antoinette insist that she has lost her way
to England? (clue: p. 109)
Grace and Antoinette: Grace is kind but in lack of understanding
a speaking, rational,
perceptive and knowing subject:
"she hasn't lost
her spirit." (106)
plans to convince Rochester
to let her go home.
"Now finally I know
why I was brought here and what I have to do."
What are the similarities
between the fire scene in Part I and that in Antoinette's dream
in part III?
Signs of "madness":
look at the tapestry
loss of memory -- does
not remember fighting Richard. (108)
Time has no meaning,
but the red dress does.
different dreams (nightmares)
in the last dream:
What is the significance
of the last paragraph of the novel?
recurrent ones: followed
the hall with only red
and white colors, searching for the altar, Aunt Cora's room, the "ghost";
escape from the fire,
to see "all her life" written on the sky.
Antoinette does not
burn the house.
She unlocks the door
and "shield[s]" the fire, which "light [her] along the dark passage."
Other accounts of madness
Daniel: [about Annette]:
"she can't life a hand for herself and soon the madness that is in her,
and in all these white Creoles, come out." (96/57);
"crazy and worse besides" [suggesting wantonness]
Rochester: "she mad
but mine" (99).
One critic's analysis:
progressed from fearing the power of the Afro-Caribbean and moving away
from its protection, to becoming not only mistress and user of the flame,
but its protector.. . .The reversal--stylistically inscribed--is
a textualization of the theme of the zombi, a literary acting out of a
belief about its nature. For Laroches writes that the zombi is
the incarnation of the only "truly feared death," but that its fate "is
reversible and thus transitory. . . Salt is the agent which renews
the awareness of life, the antidate to the spell which brought on the state
of zombification. Is is similar to divine fire" (E & T;
56; emphasis added). (textbook 202)
of the fire and red dress