The Wide Sargasso Sea Quotes

The Wide Sargasso Sea Quotes - Passages from the Text Page...

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Passages from the Text Page Comments & Questions “They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did. But we were not their ranks. The Jamaican ladies had never approved of my mother, ‘because she pretty like pretty self’ Christophine said.” #15 [R, S, E] This is the opening paragraph of the novel, which sets the tone of racial discrimination and Antoinette’s feeling of isolation and alienation. In the exposition of the novel, Antoinette recalls pieces of her memories of her childhood. As this quote shows, Antoinette cannot remember why society rejects her mother; she can only remember what “Christophine said”. This result from the lack of warmth and love she receives from her parents, and her isolation in society. Her character development can be traced back to the alienation and isolation she feels in Jamaica. Moreover, Jamaicans reject her mother as well due to racial differences. “’That’s her story. I don’t believe it. A frivolous woman. In your mother’s place I’d resent her behavior.’ ’None of you understand about us,’ I thought.” #27 [R, E] Antoinette feels that Mr. Mason does not understand her mother and her position. Antoinette tries to explain to Mr. Mason why Aunt Cora cannot help Annette but he doesn’t understand because he was never in a white Creole female’s place, as Antoinette is. Mr. Mason does not understand that females have no financial rights. This quote clearly shows that Antoinette sees Mr. Mason’s misconceptions about the English male’s superiority over white Creole females. “Our parrot was called Coco, a green parrot. He didn’t talk very well… After Mr Mason clipped his wings he grew very bad tempered, and though he would sit quietly on my mother’s shoulder… He made an effort to fly down but his clipped wings failed him and he fell screeching. He was all on fire ” #38 [R, E, S] Rhys has included another scene of ugly death of animals- the first scene being Annette’s poisoned horse that was left to die with flies swarming. In this scene, the fall of the parrot symbolizes the captivated life of Antoinette and Annette; the clipping of Coco’s feathers represents how their English husbands control their freedom. Just like Antoinette and Annette, the parrot “cannot talk very well” in a patriarchal society. The only answer the parrot could give was “ Che Coco ”, which represents Antoinette and Annette’s desire to establish their sense of identity in society, leading their English husband to conclude that they need control their wives’ freedom. The fall of the parrot is also later echoed in the
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