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Wide Sargasso Sea

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.

Quote #1

"I dare say we would have died if [Christophine]'d turned against us and that would have been a better fate. To die and be forgotten and at peace. Not to know that one is abandoned, lied about, helpless." (I.1.2.12)

Antoinette inherits her mother's morbid way of looking at the world, expressed in the quote above. To die isn't about merely ceasing to exist, but more importantly, to lose the awareness that you may as well be dead. The quote also brings up the interesting question as to why Christophine is so invested in keeping Annette and her family alive when they have no fortune to speak of at the time. Christophine may be performing a kind of obeah in the sense that she is supporting Annette and her family when they are socially dead, turning them into social zombies, if you will.

Quote #2

When I asked Christophine what happened when you died, she said, "You want to know too much." (I.1.7.33)

Antoinette reveals here an early obsession with death that will continue into her adult life, most notably in her relationship with Rochester.

Quote #3

I could hardly wait for all this ecstasy and once I prayed for a long time to be dead. (I.2.5.3)

Antoinette's experience with religion is problematic because it seems to prey on her most morbid tendencies. If heaven is such a good time, then why stick around on earth?

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