A round trip to paradise: Mr. Rochester's inability to settle in the West Indies

Dolors Collellmir


In Part One of Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea, Antoinette Cosway captures all our interest and empathy narrating in her own voice her childhood and adolescence. We are surprised, then, when the first person voice in Part Two is Mr. Rochester's, that is, Antoinette's husband's. Mr Rochester, an English gentleman with no personal fortune, had gone to the West Indies with a pre-arranged agreement to marry Antoinette, who is a beautiful, rich, Creole girl, and settle with her on her estate. The story could remind one of the conventional tales wich end in happiness for ever after. But the fact is that Wide Sargasso Sea is a tragic novel rich in nature symbolism, cultural enigmas, and psychological complexity.

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