Rhys in Wide Sargasso sea illustrates how Antoinette ‘s individuality is so wholly weaken through the patriarchal subjugation that when she looks into the mirror she does non acknowledge her ain contemplation. It was so I saw her the shade, the adult female with streaming hair. she was surrounded by a gift frame but I knew her ( pg.154 ) . Antoinette does non recognize that what she sees is a contemplation of her broken selfhood. Her ego goon has under gone an unretrievable split. With her bosom and spirit broken she began to exhibit marks of an emotionally weak, baffled and imbalanced adult female. Rhys gives voice to madwoman who has been othered by imperialistic and patriarchal subjugation. Her lunacy is shown through out the novel to be a reaction to subjugation.
Antoinette is imprisoned by the patriarchal regulations of her matrimony, which finally leads to madness. Antoinette ‘s matrimony is the apogee of this implemented actual subjugation. Rhys illustrates the unfairness of Rochester ‘s premise that female parent ‘s lunacy must necessarily passed on to the girl. Rhys shows that Rochester ‘s inhuman treatment towards Antoinette is due to a projection onto her of his hatred for his male parent, and the matrimony agreement which he has been pushed into. His choler is the choler of the laden. Like Antoinette, he is a victim of imperialistic and patriarchal subjugation.
I agree with Teresa F.O’Connor ‘s statements about Mr. Rochester ‘s barbarous intervention of Antoinette. She argues that her inhuman treatments derive from his ain rejection by his male parent and Antoinette becomes his scape-goat for the hatred he feels towards him ( 162 ) . Although, Mr. Rochester ‘s inhuman treatments derive from his hate of his male parent, but his inhuman treatments are still approved of by the patriarchal society. He is allowed to handle his married woman disrespectfully because of the patriarchal norms. Therefore, Mr. Rochester with his patriarchal subjugation, is the ground for their failed matrimony. Teresa F. O ‘ Connor says that, Mr. Rochester acts as the colonising English aggressive, commanding, urban, and a warrior that captures wealth, belongings and people ( 170 ) .
Antoinette ‘s effort to do her hubby love her by scoring him into holding sexual inter-course with her is uneffective. Rochester reflects in the text ; I woke in the dark after woolgathering that I was buried alive, and when I was wake uping the feeling of asphyxiation persisted ( Rhys 87 ) . The asphyxiation he feels derives from happening himself in the power of his married woman and non the other manner around. He so demonstrates his sexual power over her by denying her a physical relationship with him, yet kiping with the black retainer, Amelia, he derives her farther off from her individuality. Mr. Rochester ‘s unfaithfulness is a manner for her to show his patriarchal power over Antoinette and demo her that she can non command him.
Rochester attempts to delegate animal nature to his married woman. He describes Antoinette degradingly by seeking to destruct her human individuality and do her more carnal like. When Antoinette comes out of her room and rages about her hubby ‘s unfaithfulness with Amelia, he diminishes Antoinette ‘s human characteristics in order to explicate her lunacy, Her hair hung uncombed and dull into her eyes which were inflamed and gazing, her face was really rose-cheeked and looked swollen. ( Rhys93 )
Alienation is the major ground for Antoinette ‘s psychological interruption down. Mr. Rochester alienates her by extinguishing her individuality and coercing a new one upon her. For in Wide Sargasso sea Rochester ‘s rejection of Antoinette is the concluding straw in her stray, painful, emotionally deprived life which cause her to follow an exact mirroring of female parent ‘s look which allows Rochester to label her Bertha, the stereotype of lunacy created by patriarchal society. The minute he turns Antoinette into Bertha and so to Marionette is symbolic.
Rochester can be seen here as an agressive autocrat, when he deprives Antoinette from her individuality. Rhys writes him straight into the function of colonize at the point where he changes Antoinette ‘s name to Bertha. She becomes like a mirror, foremost wiped, clean of her ain selfhood into which he so project his self-hatred, which he eventually breaks up as she might a doll, intoning to her, the lulling and take downing chorus, “ Marionette, Antoinette ” , in effort to acquire rid of his ain guilt. He begins to name her Bertha, signaling the beginning of his dividing himself from her ( ironically he likes to name her Bertha because it is a name beloved to him ) .
Rochester renames Antoinette ; he controls her organic structure now, but non her spirit. Antoinette is merely a marionette, a doll for him, “ the doll had a doll ‘s voice, a breathless but oddly apathetic voice ” ( Rhys155 ) . This besides indicates that work forces cut down adult females to objects in order to command them, but inside the doll, underneath, the camouflage, there is still the adult female, who has feelings and emotions and who would instead give up her organic structure so her spirit. We can see in portion three of Wide Sargasso sea, Antoinette attaches values to names, Names affair, like when he woud’nt name me Antoinette, and I saw Antoinette floating out of the window with her aromas, her pretty apparels and her looking glass ( Rhys 117 ) . Names affair because they are portion of a individual ‘s individuality and through a individual ‘s name he or she can be identified in a community. Mr. Rochester besides shows his colonial power when he eliminates his married woman ‘s individuality, as a coloniser he tries to coerce a British individuality upon her.
The patriarchal Mr. Rochester ‘s compulsion to rule and command his married woman makes him estrange Antoinette from her ain individuality. He tries to extinguish Antoinette ‘s individuality and turns her into a Victorian Englishwoman.
Though Antoinette seems to comprehend her destiny as inevitable, she gives in and dies emotionally. She ne’er becomes Bertha, at least non the perfect angel that Rochester wants to be. She says Bertha is non my name ; you are seeking to do me into person else, naming me by another name. Renaming Antoinette is one manner in which Rochester exerts his masculine power over his married woman. He tries to make a adult female whom he can command, rule and possess. But Antoinette merely seems to subject to it. Her battle is on the interior, and alternatively of going the English miss, Rochester wishes her to be, she becomes person else, person much like her female parent was.
In the terminal of the portion two when Mr. Rochester and Antoinette are about Os leave for England, Mr. Rochester notices that she has lost her verve and acts wholly inactive. She was so aghast to see Rochester ‘s behaviour towards her that she becomes like Zombie, holding no psyche. Teresa F.O’Connor ‘s says that, the huffy females in Wide Sargasso Sea turn their lunacy inwards ( 197 ) . This is what happens to Antoinette, the devastation and disaffection of her individuality leads to her lunacy. Therefore Mr. Rochester considers her to be huffy. He wants to destruct her even more by extinguishing every independent portion of her, he wants complete control over her organic structure and head. By destructing her last flicker of life, he turns Antoinette into an aphasic object. Bing turned into person else and fring the lone topographic point where she has felt felicity and safety, gives her nil to place with.
But I love this topographic point and you have made it into a topographic point I hate. I used to believe that if everything else went out of my life I would still hold this, and now you have spoilt it. It ‘s merely some where else where I have been unhappyaˆ¦ . ( Rhys95 )
Therefore, Mr. Rochester has power, through his patriarchal place in their matrimony, the power to destruct both Antoinette ‘s individuality of psyche and individuality of topographic point. Rhys allows Antoinette to lift above her state of affairs by seeking concluding retaliation on Rochester and deriving back her independency, her saneness and her life. Rhys shows from the beginning of Antoinette ‘s matrimony, her defensive behaviour. When her hubby attempts to learn her about the life manner he finds right, she argues against him in order to keep her ain ideals and values. She besides fights to maintain her hubby when she finds out about his unfaithfulness, she asks Christophine to assist her with Obeah ( Voodoo ) in order to shaper her hubby love her.
Christophine who is the figure of female independency in all signifiers ( sexually, economically and politically ) suggests to Antoinette what to make and how to work out their jobs with her hubby. Christophine advices Antoinette to be strong and independent like her ego. She says,
A adult male do n’t handle you good, pick up your skirt and walk out. In the terminal he comes to happen how you do without him, he sees you fat and happy, he wants you back. Work force are like that ( pg69 ) .
What is certain is that Christophine considers her self free to contrast Rochester ‘s behaviour to impeach him of cut downing Antoinette to a doll. She is so self-assured to reply him straight, in cold blood and traveling beyond his pretense of patriarchal power, this is a free state and I am a free adult female. Christophine says to Rochester, she tells me in the center of this you start naming her names Marionette some what so.
Here Rhys illustrate that sexual and emotional subjugation seems to be the cardinal thought in patriarchal dictatorship, for Antoinette lets her ego to be victimized by the enemy, the adult male she was trick into get marrieding. In the terminal, nevertheless, after Rochester has drained her of all emotions, she manages to interrupt free from the agonies by doing her last act of self-government. With this last measure, Rhys turns her huffy adult female into a symbol of female release. Antoinette eventually regains her activity in the 3rd portion of the novel, and takes duty for her ain life. In this manner, she takes her fate in her ain custodies.
Teresa F. O’Connor disagrees with other critics about the 3rd portion of Wide Sargasso Sea, where Antoinette appears to fire down her hubby ‘s house in England and commit self-destruction. She does non believe that Antoinette ‘s act of firing down the house is an act of rebellion and opposition. She believes it to be a inactive act since Antoinette is incognizant that her act is rebellious ( 168 ) . I disagree with Teresa that the evident act of firing down Mr. Rochester ‘s house is a inactive act. Antoinette does non truly fire down in her dream, she ha a foreboding in her dream that she sets his house on fire and commits suicide by leaping from the edifice. When she wakes up she is convinced of what she has to make. Now at last I know why I was brought here and what I have to make. This statement is made by a adult female absolutely awake with a clear head. Antoinette ‘s act of firing down his house is an active pick which brings her dorsum from her apathy. This is an act of retaliation that restores her bureau that her hubby had tried to extinguish.
In the visible radiation of Cixous ‘s theory, I support my statement that Antoinette ‘s lunacy is a rebellion against the patriarchal repression and before her self-destruction ; she destroys the prison that has held her confined by firing the house, an old dignified English Mansion stand foring the patriarchal tradition.
Antoinette ‘s rebellion against her patriarchal hubby can be related to the incident when her childhood place, Coulibri, was burnt down. Despite her hubby ‘s attempt to destruct her individuality and take away her saneness, he can ne’er command her wholly. She still has her ain will left, which is displayed in her concluding act of retaliation and rebellion against her oppressive hubby. She sets her self free from patriarchal subjugation and takes bid over her ain state of affairs by make up one’s minding her ain class of life or, as in this instance, decease.
Therefore, in portion three Rhys with the usage of colour ruddy shows how Antoinette destroys the dominant discourse of the patriarchal society. Red is metaphorically associated with passion and it is besides associated with Antoinette and with her red-soiled through out the Wide Sargasso Sea. It is repeatedly repressed by her hubby as he prefers her white frock which is the symbol of artlessness and pureness. He rejects the fire ruddy frock with which she identifies her ego as intemperate and unchaste. This inclination to stamp down the colour ruddy is reversed in the 3rd portion of the novel. As Antoinette takes her ruddy frock that has a significance from the closet in the ruddy curtained room in which she has asked Grace Poole to illume a fire and is reminded of the colour of fire and sundown in her place town. Every thing associated with ruddy is repeated once more and once more in the novel to demo the devastation of patriarchal order. The ruddy is the colour of fires which Antoinette dreams she sets fire to Thorn field, therefore symbolically destructing the patriarchal order that is upheld by discourse.
She decides to go forth the oppressive universe behind her by taking decease alternatively of an captive life, although the pick of decease in order to be free may look as a hapless option. It does demo, though, Antoinette ‘s finding non to be governed and have person else decide her fate, by perpetrating suicide she takes her fate in her ain custodies.
There must hold been a draft for the fire, flickered and I thought it was out. But I shielded it with my manus and it burned up against to illume me along the dark transition.
Therefore, Rhys represents her supporter with a beam of light Os guide her hopes. For Antoinette at least the darkness of ignorance, desperation and decease are eventually illuminated by the visible radiation of self-knowledge and rebellion.