Wide Sargasso Sea

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Information about Wide Sargasso Sea

Published on January 22, 2008

Author: Miranda

Source: authorstream.com

Writing Back:  Writing Back Jane Eyre Wide Sargasso Sea Slide2:  romantic setting tragedy happy ending conflict obstacles married person family What are the ingredients of a good love story?:  What are the ingredients of a good love story? Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847):  Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847) Orphaned into cold charity at the hands of her rich cousins and, later, at Lowood School, Jane escapes to take up a position as governess to the young ward of Mr Rochester. Their love affair, Jane's discovery of Rochester's secret – hideously concealed in the attic of Thornfield Hall – and her desperate flight are told in a drama of passionate intensity. Jane Eyre as a text defying (social) conventions:  Jane Eyre as a text defying (social) conventions Jane Eyre is a love story with a happy ending, rare in its time for its sympathetic portrayal of the love of a married man for another woman. Slide6:   Jane Eyre as an unconventional text  Jane Eyre as a (proto)feminist text What is Rochester's "hideous secret"?:  What is Rochester's "hideous secret"? Slide8:  She was kept in very close confinement, ma'am; people even for some years were not absolutely certain of her existence. no one saw her: they only knew by rumour that such a person was at the hall; and who or what she was it was difficult to conjecture. They said Mr Edward brought her from abroad, and some believed she had been his mistress. The Fiction of Empire:  The Fiction of Empire "Empire" as trivial fact in a love story "he brought her from abroad" Jane Eyre as a love story, not a fiction of empire Why is Rochester's wife in the attic?:  Why is Rochester's wife in the attic? The madwoman in the attic:  The madwoman in the attic They say she had nearly burnt her husband in his bed once. However, on this night, she set fire to the hangings of the room next too her own, and then she got down to a lower story, and made her way to the chamber that had been the governess' (she was like as if she knew somehow how matters had gone on) – and she kindled the bed there; but there was nobody sleeping in it, fortunately. (422) Slide12:  He went up to the attics when all was burning above and below, and got the servants out of the beds and helped them down himself, and went back to get his mad wife out of her cell. And then they called out to him that she was on the roof, where she was standing, waving her arms above the battlements, and shouting out till they could hear her a mile off: I saw her and heard her with my own eyes. She was a big woman, and had long black hair: we could see it streaming against the flames as she stood. (423) Slide13:  I witnessed Mr Rochester ascend through the skylight to the roof; we heard him call "Bertha!" We saw him approach her, and then, ma'am, she yelled and gave a spring, and the next minute she lay smashed on the pavement. How do we react to this scene?:  How do we react to this scene? Bertha's death:  Bertha's death Bertha's death enables the text's happy ending this is the only time we see her: no identification empire as availability (bring a wife from abroad) empire as cumbersome Which question does the text does not ask?:  Which question does the text does not ask? The question the text does not ask::  The question the text does not ask: Why has Bertha gone mad? Jane Eyre suggests that there is no particular reason Caribbean native associated with madness madness as the ultimate cultural difference Jane Eyre: Paradoxes:  Jane Eyre: Paradoxes Jane Eyre as a (proto)feminist text Jane Eyre as a fiction of empire Wide Sargasso Sea:  Wide Sargasso Sea "writing back": "correcting" the fiction of empire re-writing Jane Eyre from Bertha's perspective inventing a reason for her madness deconstructing the fiction of empire into a multiplicity of perspectives Jane Eyre: only one perspective Jean Rhys (1890-1979):  Jean Rhys (1890-1979) born Ella Gwendolyne Rees Williams, on Dominica, West Indies writer of Welsh and Caribbean descent thematized the in-betweenness of West Indian creoles in the Caribbean white creole writer = inaugurated the postcolonial paradigm of "writing back" Rochester's perspective:  Rochester's perspective She said she loved this place. This is the last she'll see of it. I'll watch for one tear, one human tear. Not that blank hating moonstruck face. I'll listen... If she says good-bye perhaps adieu. Adieu – like those old-time songs she sang. If she too says it, or weeps, I'll take her in my arms, my lunatic. She's mad but mine, mine. (166) Dead end of cultural misunderstanding:  Dead end of cultural misunderstanding Rochester does not understand his wife blank face: lack of emotions misunderstanding interpreted as madness his idea of possession Empire as availability:  Empire as availability She'll loosen her black hair, and laugh and coax and flatter (a mad girl. She'll not care who she's loving). She'll moan and cry and give herself as no sane woman would – or could. Or could. Then lie so still, still as this cloudy day. A lunatic who always knows the time. But never does. (165) Slide24:  empire as ultimate difference empire as (sexual) availability desire and repulsion Slide25:  When I first came I thought it would be for a day, two days, a week perhaps. I thought that when I saw him and spoke to him would be wise as serpents, harmless as doves. 'I give you all I have freely,' I would say, 'and I will not trouble you again if you will let me go.' But he never came. (179) The Fiction of Empire:  The Fiction of Empire writing as justification: the cement of the empire writing as fictional information about the empire: bringing the empire into your living room the empire as trivial information in imperial British fiction metaphor: the empire is necessary for the colonies; they cannot govern themselves The Fiction of Empire:  The Fiction of Empire the empire needs the fiction of empire: those at home know why empire is necessary (a) the fiction of empire creates a reality which does not exist (b) need for "postcolonial" intervention setting the fiction of empire straight Texts:  Texts Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin, The Empire Writes Back Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism

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