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Wide Sargasso Sea

Wide Sargasso Sea

by Jean Rhys
 Table of Contents

Wide Sargasso Sea Mortality Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

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.

Quote #2

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.

Quote #3

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.

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