One could reason that novels do rewrite other novels, because by reading a newer novel, we can cast new visible radiation upon our old apprehension of the older novel and organize new and different readings of it. Our perceptual experience of the characters in the older novel may alter in visible radiation of the new information presented to us, and this would assist us to see the novel in a wholly different manner, which would ‘rewrite ‘ our apprehension of the older novel. T.S. Eliot argued that ‘when a new work of art is created something happens at the same time to all the plants of art which preceded it ‘ .[ 1 ]It seems apparent that because Wide Sargasso Sea was written as a prequel to Jane Eyre, our apprehension of Jane Eyre should alter, as we learn more about the life of Bertha ( or Antoinette as she was called before she became insane ) . In Jane Eyre Bertha is presented as a primitive, violent and beastly character, and her actions and features are likened to that of a ‘strange wild animate being ‘ .[ 2 ]When we foremost encounter her we are told that ‘whether beast or human being, one could non, at first sight Tell ‘ ,[ 3 ]and this animalistic portraiture is continued through Bronte ‘s description of her visual aspect. Bertha is dehumanized and described as ‘it ‘ ,[ 4 ]and we are told that she had ‘a measure of dark, grizzled hair, wild as a mane ‘ .[ 5 ]Bertha is depicted as a threatened animate being that becomes wild and defensive when approached. This is seen when Rochester tries to travel closer towards her in the Attic, as we are told that ‘the clad hyaena rose up, and stood tall on its hind pess ‘[ 6 ], and so ‘sprang ‘[ 7 ]at Rochester ‘and grappled his pharynx brutally, and laid her dentitions to his cheek ‘ .[ 8 ]Bertha is presented as animalistic, aggressive and unpredictable, and Rochester tells us that this insanity developed as ‘she came of a huffy household ; imbeciles and lunatic through three coevalss ‘ .[ 9 ]Rochester ‘s account of her insanity presents her as somewhat of a infantile, puerile sap, as he says that Bertha, ‘like a duteous kid, copied her parent ‘ ,[ 10 ]and as a consequence became huffy, and we are besides told that her lunacy stems from an dependence to alcohol that she besides copied from her female parent. It is merely really briefly that we hear about Bertha ‘s personality before she became insane, as Rochester tells Jane that he ‘had a charming spouse – pure, wise, modest ‘[ 11 ]. However, this remembrance is merely discussed for a really short sum of clip.
Jean Rhys ‘ word picture of Antoinette in Wide Sargasso Sea differs greatly from Charlotte Bronte ‘s portraiture of Bertha in Jane Eyre. Antoinette is presented as being far more humanist and civilized than Bertha, as Rhys gives her a voice, and we hear her speak throughout the novel. On the other manus, Bertha is non given a voice in Jane Eyre, as we ne’er hear her speak. This accentuates the thought of Bertha being animalistic, particularly because when she does talk, all that is heard are ‘the fiercest cries ‘ .[ 12 ]Antoinette is presented as being an guiltless immature adult female, and the reader sympathizes with her, as her insanity develops due to the fact that she had been subjected to changeless favoritism, treachery and subjugation by other people ( many of whom she thought she could swear ) throughout her life. This is demonstrated in portion one of the novel, where Antoinette ‘s house is set on fire. In an effort to happen safety, she runs towards her friend Tia, who she believed would assist her from the rioting work forces who were assailing her house. Alternatively, Tia throws a stone at her, which causes Antoinette ‘s caput to shed blood. The reader sympathises Antoinette, as she believed that Tia ‘was all that was left of my life as it had been ‘ .[ 13 ]Tia ‘s actions show us that Antoinette was betrayed by the one individual she cared for and trusted in Coulibri. This treachery of trust was one of the grounds why Antoinette was driven to insanity, and alternatively of being repulsed by Antoinette when she becomes huffy ( as we are made to experience towards Bertha in Jane Eyre ) , the reader feels profoundly sympathetic towards her. From reading Wide Sargasso Sea, the reader is revealed to an wholly different history of Antoinette ‘s death. Antoinette was non a sap and did non go huffy as a consequence of her female parent ‘s insanity and through alcohol addiction ; she was driven to insanity through circumstance. This demonstrates that novels can rewrite other novels, as our sentiment and position towards Bertha in Jane Eyre alterations from one of disgust and repulsive force to one of understanding and commiseration when we hear about her past experiences in Wide Sargasso Sea.
The portraiture of Antoinette ‘s hubby in Wide Sargasso Sea ( who is meant to stand for Mr Rochester ) besides changes the manner in which we view Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre. In Jane Eyre Rochester is portrayed as a sort, loving and considerate adult male, who is evidently profoundly pained at the ruin of his married woman, yet accepts the state of affairs with self-respect. On demoing Bertha to Jane, Rochester makes visible radiation of the state of affairs by stating ‘that is my married woman, [ … ] such is the exclusive connubial embracing I am of all time to cognize – such are the endearments which are to comfort my leisure hours! ‘ .[ 14 ]As a consequence of his positive attitude in the face of hardship, the reader feels regard and fondness towards Bronte ‘s Rochester. However, this position is altered when we discover more about Rochester ‘s yesteryear and his relationship with Bertha in Wide Sargasso Sea. Rhys ‘ Rochester is presented as a far colder and more baleful character than we are led to believe in Jane Eyre, as he is credited with being a lending factor towards Antoinette ‘s autumn into insanity. On having Daniel Cosway ‘s missive, Mr Rochester ( who is n’t really referred to as Rochester in the novel ; he is referred to merely as ‘my hubby ‘ or ‘that adult male ‘ ) becomes hostile towards Antoinette and decides to get down naming her Bertha. This barbarous intervention helps to arouse Antoinette into insanity, and the confusion that this intervention causes her is apparent. Antoinette says that ‘names matter, like when he would n’t name me Antoinette, and I saw Antoinette floating out of the window ‘ .[ 15 ]From this statement it is apparent that Rochester ‘s intervention of Antoinette contributes towards her dislocation, as he leaves her feeling baffled about her individuality, which causes her to oppugn her personality and leads her to state that ‘they have taken everything off. What am I making in this topographic point and who am I? ‘ .[ 16 ].
Rhys ‘ portraiture of Rochester as a domineering and pull stringsing adult male alters our old sentiment of him. Alternatively of sing him as the sort and resilient individual that we see in Jane Eyre, we now see him as controlling, cruel and oppressive. Jean Rhys wrote that ‘there is ever the other side, ever ‘ .[ 17 ]This implies that even if we believe that we understand a novel and its characters, there will ever be certain information that we can non invent from the text. By reading another novel, peculiarly one such as Wide Sargasso Sea, which was written as a prequel, it is possible to cast new visible radiation on a state of affairs and assist us to derive a new and different position upon the original novel. This therefore proves that by reading Wide Sargasso Sea we view the characters in Jane Eyre otherwise, therefore back uping the statement that novels can rewrite other novels.
However, one could reason that novels can non rewrite other novels. Roland Barthes maintained the position that ‘every text is an inter-text ; other texts are present within it to changing grades, and in more or less recognizable signifiers.[ 18 ]Harmonizing to Barthes ‘ theory novels are written by other novels ; our apprehension of a text is subjective, as each individual will invent their ain different reading of a text, which is based on the culminated literary cognition of the single reading the book. This theory was really supported by Jean Rhys, who, whilst completing Wide Sargasso Sea, wrote that ‘it is done in the manner that hodgepodge would be done if you had all the colorss and all the pieces cut but non yet arranged to do a comforter. ‘[ 19 ]. This implies that Wide Sargasso Sea consists of many different parts, which all contribute to do one text, and it besides shows us that the novel incorporates many different influences, which are present within the text.
We see grounds of a fresh being influenced by other novels in Wide Sargasso Sea, where it says:
Here were the ruins of a rock house and round the ruins rose trees that had grown to an unbelievable tallness. At the dorsum of the ruins a wild orange tree covered with fruit, the foliages a dark viridity. A beautiful topographic point. And calm-so composure that it seemed foolish to be after or believe.[ 20 ]
This description evidently incorporates some of the maps of late eighteenth and early 19th century Gothic Literature, as it is comparable to the Ann Radcliffe ‘s description of a similar house in her 1794 novel The Mysteries of Udolpho. Radcliffe tells us that:
The position of the ruins was really dramatic ; the three head multitudes, great and solemn, without being beautiful. They spoke at one time to imaginativeness, with the force and simpleness of truth, the void and brevity of this life-generations have beheld us and passed off, as you now behold us and shall go through away.[ 21 ]
The similarities between the texts show that Wide Sargasso Sea was partially influenced by Gothic literature. This proves that novels are influenced by a apogee of other novels, therefore back uping the theory that novels do non rewrite other novels ; they simply influence newer novels. In add-on, the fact that Jean Rhys really admitted that her book was to a great extent inspired by the characters in Jane Eyre adds value to this theory. Rhys wrote that ‘it might be possible to unhitch the whole thing from Charlotte Bronte ‘s novel, but I do n’t desire to make that. It is that peculiar huffy Creole I want to compose approximately, non any of the other huffy Creoles ‘ .[ 22 ]This shows us that the character of Antoinette in Wide Sargasso Sea was influenced by Bertha in Jane Eyre, therefore showing the theory that novels are a ‘patchwork ‘ of influences all combined to do a literary work.
However, this theory is slightly undermined by the fact that Jean Rhys subsequently wrote that Antoinette was ‘not Jane Eyre ‘s moonstruck at all ‘ ,[ 23 ]and that ‘there were several Antoinettes and Mr Rochesters. Indeed I am certain. Mine is non Miss Bronte ‘s, though much suggested I ‘m certain ‘ .[ 24 ]These statements from the writer badly undermine the thought that Jane Eyre influenced Wide Sargasso Sea, and this therefore detracts value from the thought that novels are a ‘mosaic of citations ‘[ 25 ]from other literary plants.
In decision I believe that novels can rewrite other novels, as it seems slightly obvious that if, as in the instance of Jane Eyre, a newer novel ( such as Wide Sargasso Sea ) sheds new visible radiation on a state of affairs and gives us new information about the characters and events within the novel, our reading of the original novel should alter. This is seen in Jane Eyre, because by reading Wide Sargasso Sea we learn a batch more about the past lives of Antoinette/Bertha and Mr Rochester, and this new cognition really changes our sentiments of these two characters. Bertha transforms from a crude, aggressive object of repulsive force to a pathetic, exploited and abused immature adult female, who is driven into lunacy through changeless treachery and subjugation from people that she trusted throughout her life. On the other manus, Mr Rochester transforms from an admirable, dignified gentleman, to a revengeful, vindictive and oppressive hubby, who finally causes Antoinette ‘s ruin. In add-on, I do believe that novels can be influenced by other novels as good, and I believe that when reading a fresh one can see grounds of the ‘patchwork ‘ of influences that contributed to do that novel. It seems that Jean Rhys manages to integrate both of these maps into Wide Sargasso Sea, as one can see grounds of Jane Eyre and other Gothic-style novels through the text, yet one can besides appreciate that by reading Wide Sargasso Sea, our apprehension of Gothic-style novels such as Jane Eyre can alter, and an wholly different reading of the original text can be formed.