Wide Sargasso Sea Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 81 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Wide Sargasso Sea.
This section contains 1,819 words
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Part I

Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea attempts to fill in the blanks of a fictional character's life story. Here Rhys creates a biography for Bertha Mason, the insane wife of Edward Rochester in Charlotte Bronte's novel Jane Eyre. As Rhys's novel begins, Bertha Mason, known through most of the narrative as Antoinette Cosway, is a child living on the overgrown and impoverished Coulibri Estate in Jamaica.

The story begins in 1839, six years after slavery was abolished in the British Empire, of which Jamaica was part. Antoinette, the young narrator of Part I, describes both her family's isolation and poverty in the wake of emancipation. She lives alone with her mother Annette, her brother Pierre, and three black servants, Christophine, Godfrey, and Sass, on the sprawling, but crumbling Cosway family plantation. No neighbors visit the family because Annette Cosway, who was born on Martinique, is considered an outsider...

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This section contains 1,819 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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