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● Prepared by Nidhi Dave
● Roll No 16
● MA Sem 3
● Paper203, Postcolonial studies
● Email I’d davenidhi05@gmail.com
● Submitted to Department of English MKBU
Introduction
● The novel Wide Sargasso Sea is written by Jean Rhys. The
social demarcations between English and Creole cultural
Identities foregrounding race and gender in Jean Rhys’s Wide
Sargasso Sea in order to highlight multiple issues like gender
discrimination, the opposite nature of male and females, how the
desires of the central characters not fulfilled and how all these
things lead to the madness.
● Rhys needs to show that races, Creole and white people cannot
escape racism and chooses to use Rochester and Antoinette to
help readers better connect with them. The point of this practice
is to show Rochester and Antoinette are both victim and helps
create a complex connection between them: through conflict,
marriage and their individual faults.
Wide Sargasso Sea
Wide Sargasso Sea is a novel written by Jean Rhys Published in 1966, Wide
Sargasso Sea reports on the life of a West Indian community during the post
emancipation period. The people whose lives are dramatized in cosocial belong to
various races and are from different classes. Their respective destinies are shaped
by conflicting relations that stem from their respective contradictory histories and
social Backgrounds.
Wide Sargasso Sea is a novel written by Jean Rhys is a novel that is written with
special purpose
As to describe the earlier life of Bertha Mason of Jane Eyre, whose original name is
Antoinette in
The novel. It shows her life from the very beginning of her life, how she is married to
Rochester
And how her psyche gets worse and worse. The entire process is described here
and the reasons
Responsible for that are also described at lengths.
What is Racism
● “A belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the
various human racial groups determine cultural or
individual achievement, usually involving the idea that
one’s own race is superior and has the right to dominate
others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the
others.”
● Racism is most commonly used to name a form of prejudice in
which a person believes in the superiority of what they consider
to be their own “race” over others. This most often takes the
form of believing that those with other skin colors—especially
darker skin colors—are inferior physically, intellectually,
morally, and/or culturally, and mistreating and discriminating
against them because of this.
● When used in this way, racism typically refers to a system that
has oppressed people of color all over the world throughout
history. Such a system is often thought to operate through white
people using the advantages that the system gives them (often
called white privilege) to maintain their supremacy over people
of color (often called white supremacy).
1. 🌟Antoinette was a Creole girl and Rochester was an English white
man. So there is clearly a difference between them in terms of race
and gender as well.
2. 🌟The novelist shows us that Antoinette is a weakcharacter mainly
because of her being female and black.
3. 🌟Like Rhys, Antoinette is a sensitive and lonely young Creole girl
who grows up with neither her mother’s love nor her peers’
companionship.
4. 🌟Eventually her husband brings her to England and locks her
in his attic, assigning a servant woman to watch over her.
Fearful, Antoinetteawakes from a vivid dream and sets out to burn
down the house.
Race and Gender issues In Wide
Sargasso Sea
Race
●
● 🔸Following the English referentiality, there are two races in Wide
Sargasso Sea: the Blacks and the Whites.
● 🔸That is the reason why, in the novel, according to the white characters,
the black Jamaicans have all the same physical, moral, and social
attributes.
● Antoinette says about the black people:
● “Still they were quiet and there were so many of them I could hardly see
any grass or trees. There must have been many
● of the bay people but I recognized no one. They all looked the same, it
was the same face
● repeated over and over, eyes gleaming, mouth half open to shout…”
Rochester as a new type of Colonizer
● 🔸We all know that the British had colonized many countries and the
Caribbean is one of them. But here the character of Rochester is
shown as a different and new type of colonizer who had colonized
a Creole Antoinette.
● 🔸So, here we find an oppressor who neither respects creoles nor the
black ones.
● 🔸There is nothing like identity for the poor woman as Rochester
destroys it and changes her name as well.
● 🔸By the end of Part 2 of the novel, where he is leaving Caribbean and
going to England with Antoinette, he utters that:“I hated the mountains
and the hills, the rivers and the rain...She had left me thirsty...”These
lines mean that he does not love the Caribbean people and their lifestyle
and therefore he is willing to go to England and to satisfy the thirst that
he had.
Identity of Black and white
● 🌟Here, blackness appears as an essential identity, a foundational category.
The black Creoles are depicted as an undifferentiated and unreasoning mass
of people, physically alike and full of hatred.
● 🌟The black individual has no personal identity, no distinctive psyche; he is
just a portion of a whole body of non differentiable people.
● 🌟The same objectivising and derisive use of “they” to talk about the black
creoles is recurrent in the narrative. The young narrator offers an illustration:
referring to her mother standing in the glacis and visible to anybody who could
pass by, Antoinette says: “They stared, sometimes they laughed.”
● 🌟Another illustration is given by her mother Annette, two years after her
second marriage. Mason, Annette’s second husband, looks at the Blacks the
same way.
● 🔸In Wide Sargasso Sea, the British racial classification equates ex-
slaves with
● poverty or lack of economic resources.
● 🔸In the novel, black Caribbean own nothing, which, according to
colonial history, is not a distortion of the past. The imperialistic
ideological the system which has structured the West Indies has set the
categories of representation.
● 🔸The legal castes of slaves are replaced by a race-colour system of
stratification.
● Consequently binary oppositions which are at work in the diegesis
assign the lower level of the society to the black characters, deprive
them of any power, consider them as subaltern and ultimately reduce
them to silence. The dominant white characters make up the hegemonic
group while black Creoles form the landless rural proletariat.
Unequal Power Between Men and
Women
● “Long, sad, dark alien eyes. Creole of pure English descent she may be, but
they are not English or European either.”
● 🔸In a place like Coulibri (and many other places similar where there were
slaveries), white men have the sexual license to be with any women. The
offspring with light colours seen in this island were proof of white men
domination. But a white woman with a black man? It is seen as a disgrace.
● 🔸There was a scene related to interracial sex, of Antoinette’s mother with a
black man that she accidentally witnessed when she was a child.
● 🔸Her mother was mentally ill and her husband sent her to be looked after by a
black couple, and she saw how her mother surrendered in the black man’s kiss
and into his arms.
● A white man does not really degrade himself with a black woman, because the
male is assumed to dominate the female as white dominates black. But a white
woman who submits willingly to sex with a black man is seen as degrading her
race as well as herself.
Recism in Wide Sargasso Sea
● The first example I want to dissect is at the very beginning of the book, when
the horse dies. Godfrey, a black servant that stayed at Antoinette’s house, is
known for being somewhat untrustworthy and morose. After the horse dies in
part one, he mentions, “The Lord made no distinction between black and white,
black and white, they are the same for Him”. At first glance, we may think he is
talking about the death of the horse. Although there is argument for that, if we
compare the Lord’s idea of life and death to black and white, but there may be a
racial meaning behind it.
● Godfrey’s attitude was further proved to be very morbid towards the white
people, as he later said: “ this world don’t last so long for mortal man”.
● Antoniette makes “friends” with the little girl named Tia, who actually bullied
her. As Antoniette walked home one day, Tia called her a “white cockroach”.
● When Tia takes Antoinette’s pennies, Antoniette snaps
“Keep them then, you cheating nigger,” and Tia replies
with a rant on how “Real white people, they got gold
money”.
● The emancipation of slavery for Jamaica was passed in
1834, so the tensions between the black people and the
white people were still deflating. Instead of previous
reality of the white people being able to overpower people
of color, the black people were able to fight back, and
often used it aggressively to expose prejudices.
Work Cited
● 🔸Patel, Ripal . “Racism in Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea ,” International Journal of Social
Impact , vol. 1, no. 1, 2016, p. 4, Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.
● 🔸Senegal, de Dakar. “Race and Gender in Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea,” LWATI: A Journal of
Contemporary Research , vol. 6, no. 1, 2009, p. 16, Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.
● ,🔸 Chita. "Book review: ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ by Jean Rhys."
https://herotherstories.wordpress.com/2020/06/14/book-review-wide-sargasso-sea-by-jean-rhys/.
14 June 2020. https://herotherstories.wordpress.com. Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.
● 🔸18, Joyame . “Analyzing Racism in WSS .” ENGL 123, Section 003 Introduction to Fiction:
Adaptation, Intertextuality, and Fidelity. 30 Oct. 2018.
introtofictionf18.web.unc.edu/2018/10/analyzing-racism-in-wss/. Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.
● 🔸“Recism .” https://www.dictionary.com/browse/racism.
Thank you

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Racism In Wide Sargasso Sea

  • 1.
  • 2. ● Prepared by Nidhi Dave ● Roll No 16 ● MA Sem 3 ● Paper203, Postcolonial studies ● Email I’d davenidhi05@gmail.com ● Submitted to Department of English MKBU
  • 3. Introduction ● The novel Wide Sargasso Sea is written by Jean Rhys. The social demarcations between English and Creole cultural Identities foregrounding race and gender in Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea in order to highlight multiple issues like gender discrimination, the opposite nature of male and females, how the desires of the central characters not fulfilled and how all these things lead to the madness. ● Rhys needs to show that races, Creole and white people cannot escape racism and chooses to use Rochester and Antoinette to help readers better connect with them. The point of this practice is to show Rochester and Antoinette are both victim and helps create a complex connection between them: through conflict, marriage and their individual faults.
  • 4. Wide Sargasso Sea Wide Sargasso Sea is a novel written by Jean Rhys Published in 1966, Wide Sargasso Sea reports on the life of a West Indian community during the post emancipation period. The people whose lives are dramatized in cosocial belong to various races and are from different classes. Their respective destinies are shaped by conflicting relations that stem from their respective contradictory histories and social Backgrounds. Wide Sargasso Sea is a novel written by Jean Rhys is a novel that is written with special purpose As to describe the earlier life of Bertha Mason of Jane Eyre, whose original name is Antoinette in The novel. It shows her life from the very beginning of her life, how she is married to Rochester And how her psyche gets worse and worse. The entire process is described here and the reasons Responsible for that are also described at lengths.
  • 5. What is Racism ● “A belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.”
  • 6. ● Racism is most commonly used to name a form of prejudice in which a person believes in the superiority of what they consider to be their own “race” over others. This most often takes the form of believing that those with other skin colors—especially darker skin colors—are inferior physically, intellectually, morally, and/or culturally, and mistreating and discriminating against them because of this. ● When used in this way, racism typically refers to a system that has oppressed people of color all over the world throughout history. Such a system is often thought to operate through white people using the advantages that the system gives them (often called white privilege) to maintain their supremacy over people of color (often called white supremacy).
  • 7. 1. 🌟Antoinette was a Creole girl and Rochester was an English white man. So there is clearly a difference between them in terms of race and gender as well. 2. 🌟The novelist shows us that Antoinette is a weakcharacter mainly because of her being female and black. 3. 🌟Like Rhys, Antoinette is a sensitive and lonely young Creole girl who grows up with neither her mother’s love nor her peers’ companionship. 4. 🌟Eventually her husband brings her to England and locks her in his attic, assigning a servant woman to watch over her. Fearful, Antoinetteawakes from a vivid dream and sets out to burn down the house. Race and Gender issues In Wide Sargasso Sea
  • 8. Race ● ● 🔸Following the English referentiality, there are two races in Wide Sargasso Sea: the Blacks and the Whites. ● 🔸That is the reason why, in the novel, according to the white characters, the black Jamaicans have all the same physical, moral, and social attributes. ● Antoinette says about the black people: ● “Still they were quiet and there were so many of them I could hardly see any grass or trees. There must have been many ● of the bay people but I recognized no one. They all looked the same, it was the same face ● repeated over and over, eyes gleaming, mouth half open to shout…”
  • 9. Rochester as a new type of Colonizer ● 🔸We all know that the British had colonized many countries and the Caribbean is one of them. But here the character of Rochester is shown as a different and new type of colonizer who had colonized a Creole Antoinette. ● 🔸So, here we find an oppressor who neither respects creoles nor the black ones. ● 🔸There is nothing like identity for the poor woman as Rochester destroys it and changes her name as well. ● 🔸By the end of Part 2 of the novel, where he is leaving Caribbean and going to England with Antoinette, he utters that:“I hated the mountains and the hills, the rivers and the rain...She had left me thirsty...”These lines mean that he does not love the Caribbean people and their lifestyle and therefore he is willing to go to England and to satisfy the thirst that he had.
  • 10. Identity of Black and white ● 🌟Here, blackness appears as an essential identity, a foundational category. The black Creoles are depicted as an undifferentiated and unreasoning mass of people, physically alike and full of hatred. ● 🌟The black individual has no personal identity, no distinctive psyche; he is just a portion of a whole body of non differentiable people. ● 🌟The same objectivising and derisive use of “they” to talk about the black creoles is recurrent in the narrative. The young narrator offers an illustration: referring to her mother standing in the glacis and visible to anybody who could pass by, Antoinette says: “They stared, sometimes they laughed.” ● 🌟Another illustration is given by her mother Annette, two years after her second marriage. Mason, Annette’s second husband, looks at the Blacks the same way.
  • 11. ● 🔸In Wide Sargasso Sea, the British racial classification equates ex- slaves with ● poverty or lack of economic resources. ● 🔸In the novel, black Caribbean own nothing, which, according to colonial history, is not a distortion of the past. The imperialistic ideological the system which has structured the West Indies has set the categories of representation. ● 🔸The legal castes of slaves are replaced by a race-colour system of stratification. ● Consequently binary oppositions which are at work in the diegesis assign the lower level of the society to the black characters, deprive them of any power, consider them as subaltern and ultimately reduce them to silence. The dominant white characters make up the hegemonic group while black Creoles form the landless rural proletariat.
  • 12. Unequal Power Between Men and Women ● “Long, sad, dark alien eyes. Creole of pure English descent she may be, but they are not English or European either.” ● 🔸In a place like Coulibri (and many other places similar where there were slaveries), white men have the sexual license to be with any women. The offspring with light colours seen in this island were proof of white men domination. But a white woman with a black man? It is seen as a disgrace. ● 🔸There was a scene related to interracial sex, of Antoinette’s mother with a black man that she accidentally witnessed when she was a child. ● 🔸Her mother was mentally ill and her husband sent her to be looked after by a black couple, and she saw how her mother surrendered in the black man’s kiss and into his arms. ● A white man does not really degrade himself with a black woman, because the male is assumed to dominate the female as white dominates black. But a white woman who submits willingly to sex with a black man is seen as degrading her race as well as herself.
  • 13. Recism in Wide Sargasso Sea ● The first example I want to dissect is at the very beginning of the book, when the horse dies. Godfrey, a black servant that stayed at Antoinette’s house, is known for being somewhat untrustworthy and morose. After the horse dies in part one, he mentions, “The Lord made no distinction between black and white, black and white, they are the same for Him”. At first glance, we may think he is talking about the death of the horse. Although there is argument for that, if we compare the Lord’s idea of life and death to black and white, but there may be a racial meaning behind it. ● Godfrey’s attitude was further proved to be very morbid towards the white people, as he later said: “ this world don’t last so long for mortal man”. ● Antoniette makes “friends” with the little girl named Tia, who actually bullied her. As Antoniette walked home one day, Tia called her a “white cockroach”.
  • 14. ● When Tia takes Antoinette’s pennies, Antoniette snaps “Keep them then, you cheating nigger,” and Tia replies with a rant on how “Real white people, they got gold money”. ● The emancipation of slavery for Jamaica was passed in 1834, so the tensions between the black people and the white people were still deflating. Instead of previous reality of the white people being able to overpower people of color, the black people were able to fight back, and often used it aggressively to expose prejudices.
  • 15. Work Cited ● 🔸Patel, Ripal . “Racism in Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea ,” International Journal of Social Impact , vol. 1, no. 1, 2016, p. 4, Accessed 4 Oct. 2022. ● 🔸Senegal, de Dakar. “Race and Gender in Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea,” LWATI: A Journal of Contemporary Research , vol. 6, no. 1, 2009, p. 16, Accessed 4 Oct. 2022. ● ,🔸 Chita. "Book review: ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ by Jean Rhys." https://herotherstories.wordpress.com/2020/06/14/book-review-wide-sargasso-sea-by-jean-rhys/. 14 June 2020. https://herotherstories.wordpress.com. Accessed 4 Oct. 2022. ● 🔸18, Joyame . “Analyzing Racism in WSS .” ENGL 123, Section 003 Introduction to Fiction: Adaptation, Intertextuality, and Fidelity. 30 Oct. 2018. introtofictionf18.web.unc.edu/2018/10/analyzing-racism-in-wss/. Accessed 4 Oct. 2022. ● 🔸“Recism .” https://www.dictionary.com/browse/racism.