Wide Sargasso Sea
by Jean Rhys
Wide Sargasso Sea Mortality Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Section.Subsection [if applicable].Paragraph). Wide Sargasso Sea is divided into three parts. Within those parts, the novel does not number sections and subsections. This guide refers to sections if they are marked by an asterisk or some other symbol in the text. Within those sections, the novel indicates subsections by an extra line break.
I woke in the dark after dreaming that I was buried alive, and when I was awake the feeling of suffocation persisted. (II.6.4.1)
After being poisoned, Rochester experiences a kind of zombie state by experiencing death while he's still alive. It begs the question as to whether his behavior following this scene (for example, his sleeping with Amélie) is the result of the drug, and, if so, whether he's really responsible for his actions.
She was only a ghost. A ghost in the grey daylight. Nothing left but hopelessness. Say die and I will die. Say die and watch me die. (II.8.23)
Antoinette's words return to Rochester as he contemplates her at the end of Part II. The term "ghost" is a nod to Jane Eyre, where Bertha Mason is mistaken for a ghost. Antoinette's ghostliness in this scene bears witness to her own symbolic death, thus paralleling her mother's fate.
It was then that I saw her – the ghost. The woman with streaming hair. She was surrounded by a gilt frame but I knew her. (III.7.3)
Like Quote #8, this quote is also a reference to Bertha Mason's ghostliness in Jane Eyre. Interestingly, Antoinette doesn't recognize the ghost in the mirror as her own reflection. It seems at this point that Rochester's plan to obliterate her sense of self – a symbolic death – has succeeded.