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Wide Sargasso Sea

Wide Sargasso Sea

by Jean Rhys

The Land

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Antoinette explains to Rochester that she "loved" the land because she "had nothing else to love" (II.6.3.36). You could say the land is itself a character in the novel. The description of the land sets the tone for the whole drama, as it reflects the various characters' emotions – lust and innocence, hope and despair, love and fear. From the lush gardens of Coulibri in Part I to the dense forests of Granbois in Part II, the land pulses with Technicolor brilliance. It's no wonder that Antoinette's only whiff of happiness in Part III occurs outside, in the English countryside, instead of in the miserable little room in which she's imprisoned. (For a fuller discussion of specific passages, see our discussion of "Contrasting Regions" under "Themes.")

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