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Wide Sargasso Sea Essay | Critical Essay #2

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Critical Essay #2

In the following essay on Jean Rhys's novel, Wide Sargasso Sea, Maria Olaussen examines the author's narrative structure to show the construction of Rhy's own racial identity both in the context of the novel and in a larger, political context.

Jean Rhys, while reluctantly trying to settle in England as a white West Indian, started working on her novel Wide Sargasso Sea with the primary intention of describing the Dominica of her childhood. In 1956, she wrote in a letter: "I still work but write mostly about the vanished West Indies of my childhood. Seems to me that wants doing badly— for never was anything more vanished or forgotten. Or lovely" (Letters). This preoccupation with the lost island of her childhood came very early on to be tied to another concern, that of "rescuing" the white Creole madwoman from the denigrating descriptions of her found in Jane Eyre...

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This section contains 6,337 words
(approx. 22 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Wide Sargasso Sea Study Guide
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Wide Sargasso Sea from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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