Wide Sargasso Sea Essay

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Lutz is an instructor at New York University and has written for a wide variety of educational publishers. In the following essay, she discusses racial identity and ambiguity in Wide Sargasso Sea.

In her unfinished autobiography, Smile Please, Jean Rhys records her childhood longing to be black: "[My mother] loved babies, any babies. Once I heard her say that black babies were prettier than white ones. Was this the reason why I prayed so ardently to be black, and would run to the lookingglass in the morning to see if the miracle had happened? And though it never had, I tried again. Dear God, let me be black." In an unpublished manuscript entitled "Black Exercise Book," Rhys suggests that she can boast a distant black ancestor: "My great grandfather and his beautiful Spanish wife. Spanish? I wonder." In questioning the ethnic heritage of this presumably darker skinned...

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This section contains 1,979 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Wide Sargasso Sea Study Guide
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Wide Sargasso Sea from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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