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Wide Sargasso Sea

Wide Sargasso Sea


by Jean Rhys

Wide Sargasso Sea Part III, Section 7 Summary

  • Antoinette has her dream for the third and last time, only this time she knows how it ends.
  • In her dream, she steals Mrs. Poole's keys and lets herself out of the room. The house seems empty, the guests are gone, and the bedrooms locked up. But she still feels as if someone is chasing her and laughing at her.
  • She finds herself in a room with a red carpet and red curtains, but everything else in the room is white. She thinks she must be in some kind of chapel, but she can't find an altar, only a gold clock.
  • Antoinette sits on a soft couch, and feels incredibly drowsy. All of a sudden, she is transported back to Aunt Cora's room. She sees the sunlight coming in, and the tree outside casts its shadow on the floor. But the sight of the candles transports her back to the red room. She knocks all the candles down – one of them sets fire to the curtains, and Antoinette enjoys the spectacle.
  • Antoinette goes back into the hallway and sees what she thinks is the ghost the other women were speaking of. Frightened, she drops her candle and sets fire to the tablecloth.
  • As she runs away or flies, she calls on Christophine to help her. She believes Christophine sends her a wall of fire to protect her from the ghost, but the wall of fire is too hot for her, so she runs away up the stairs.
  • She passes her own room up to the battlements on the roof of the house. She hears shouting, but ignores it. Sitting on top of the battlements, she sees a red sky with her entire life depicted in it. The sky is filled with images of life in Coulibri and Granbois.
  • She thinks she hears Coco calling "Qui est là? Qui est là?" and Rochester calling her "Bertha! Bertha!"
  • She leans over, and sees the pool at Coulibri. Tia is in the pool beckoning to her, and when Antoinette doesn't jump, Tia laughs at her. Antoinette hears screaming, and wonders why she is screaming. She calls out to Tia, jumps – then wakes up.
  • Mrs. Poole hears Antoinette scream and checks in on her, but Antoinette pretends to be asleep. Mrs. Poole goes to bed. When Antoinette hears her snore, she gets up and unlocks the door.
  • "Now at last I know why I was brought here and what I have to do," Antoinette says. She shields a candle in the palm of her hand as she walks down the "dark passage" (III.7.6).

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