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Wide Sargasso Sea

Wide Sargasso Sea


by Jean Rhys

Wide Sargasso Sea Part II, Section 8 Summary

  • Antoinette, Rochester, and their porters are getting ready to leave Granbois. Baptiste says good-bye, scarcely concealing his contempt for Rochester.
  • Rochester is surprised by his own sadness on leaving Granbois. Regret, maybe? On an impulse, he apologizes to Antoinette, who only looks back at him blankly. This doesn't surprise Rochester, but that pretty much does it for his apologetic mood.
  • At this point, Antoinette is more than just indifferent – she seems petrified. Rochester can't stop talking about her doll-like expression, the stiffness of her movements. (Of course, it's partly his fault because he keeps calling her a "marionette," and then there was that thing he did with her maid…)
  • Antoinette's state reminds Rochester again of how alien his surroundings are to him, and how he has always felt that the surroundings concealed a secret. He compares this secret to a treasure sunk deep in the sea. Since the law says that finders can only keep a third, many treasure-seekers don't tell anybody when they've located a treasure, preferring to sell their treasure in some clandestine way. He feels the same way about Antoinette and has the random thought that they should be like pirates who keep all their treasure for themselves. And who doesn't like a good pirate adventure?
  • Rochester, that's who. Instead of that promising avenue, Rochester sees Antoinette's hating stare, and can't help hating her back.
  • Rochester's musings are interrupted by a wailing servant boy. Antoinette explains that she'd promised the boy that he could join them because the boy liked Rochester so much. (Random, isn't it?) Rochester berates Antoinette for making promises in his name.
  • Part II ends with the boy trailing after them holding a basket on his head, still crying.

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