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Wide Sargasso Sea

Wide Sargasso Sea


by Jean Rhys

Wide Sargasso Sea Part III, Section 1 Summary

  • Part III opens from Grace Poole's point of view. By this point, Antoinette has been locked up in an attic in Thornfield Hall, Rochester's estate in England. Grace has been hired to guard and nurse Antoinette.
  • In this brief section, Grace talks to Leah, a fellow servant, about how she ended up working at Thornfield. When Grace had gone in for a job interview with Mrs. Eff (short for Mrs. Fairfax), Mrs. Eff had insisted that no gossip was permitted, and Rochester was willing to pay her handsomely to keep quiet. Mrs. Eff had also told Grace that Rochester was no monster, but a decent man who'd obviously experienced some incredible tragedy.
  • Grace agrees to Mrs. Eff's terms, even though she believes that there already numerous rumors about Rochester and his wife in the village. She remembers meeting Antoinette and noting how frail and thin Antoinette looked.
  • She thinks to herself that the manor is a safe haven from all the rumors in the world, and perhaps that's why she, Mrs. Eff, and Leah are drawn to its isolation.

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