World Literature in English Wide Sargasso Sea
Rochester and Antoinette
Pin-chia Feng and Kate Liu
    Causes for the conflicts between them: 
  1. 1.  Race/Culture: different cultural backgrounds:
  2. --her limited understanding of the world --   p. 55; "Is it true,' she said, `that England is like a dream?" p. 80
  3. --  Rochester's fever; gazed at by the natives  pp. 67-69; his lack of understanding of Christophine  pp. 85-86 (too slow, not lifting her skirt); blanks in his mind76
  4. 2. Gender: Rochester's motivation for getting married 
    • "not yet" p. 77; p. 89, 90; He dislikes the people around, but he does not reveal it ('not yet'). 
    • not love her, 93
    3.  Race+ Gender: the letter from Daniel 
          Rochester's suspicion of Antoinette's madness; implication of Antoinette's sexual affair with others. 

    4. Gender: Rochester's self-centeredness and possessiveness:  p. 94;  the priest's ruined house--Pere Lilievre--Pere Labat -- self-centered 103

    5. Race+ Gender: Antoinette's temperament--sense of doom and insecurity

    6. Race+ Gender: Antoinette's insisting on using voodoo on "beke" (white people)

      name and identity--the African belief in name; naming as a way of constructing identities (the characters' attempts at naming themselves or the others in order to shape and construct their own/other's identities).
    • Daniel Cosway--Esau (p.73)/Is he a Cosway? (p.94)
    • Antoinette: called Bertha (p.68, 81, 88, 106-7);  Marionette (p.92)--Why does Rochester change her names and the significance of this change of names?  What is the significance in calling her Marionette (a doll)? 
    • the unnamed male narrator in Part II ('the man in Part III--Why does Rhys choose to let him be the main narrator?  Why does she keep him unnamed?  (Why does she want to have him sign his name in "Obeah Night"?)
      signs of betrayals--cock crowing (p.71, 97-8)
    • When Antoinette leaves Christophine with the medicine she gives, she hears the cock crowing and says: 

    • "This is for betrayal.  But who is the traitor?. . . what does anyone know about traitors. . .?"(118/70-71)  .  What does she betray?
    • Rochester's affair with Amele after the "obeah night" (p.84)--

    • Why is he having this affair?  How do people around Rochester and change their attitudes toward him after this one-nigh-stand and why? (Antoinette, Amele, Baptiste) 
    • the untold love story between Antoinette and Sandi (p.30)--hints at their sexual relationship (p.72-3, 75, 109-10)--white dress (p.76) for Rochester and red dress for Sandi (p.109).  

    • Why does Antoinette decide to go with Rochester but not Sandi?  
      Rochester after the obeah night 
    • Rochester's hatred: 
      • mutual hatred (p.170/102)-- but this is told from Rochester's perspective.  
      • Rochester has given up all pretense of gentlemanliness.  "If I was bound for hell let it be hell.  No more false heavens.  . . . You hate me and I hate you.  We'll see who hates best.  But first, first, I will destroy your hatred."  
    •   // "Obeah Night" (p.143)
    • His possessiveness: 
      • unwilling to let Antoinette go and marry someone else.  (p. 159)
      • his "obeah": changing Antoinette into "mad Bertha" (pp. 147; 166)
    • Rochester's appearance in Part III : grey in his hair and misery in his eyes(105)