Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Race

Race is absolutely integral to the way that the characters understand themselves and their place in society. Some writers and scholars claim that Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea portrays black characters...

Identity

While Antoinette's constant questioning of who she is takes center stage, many of the other characters in Wide Sargasso Sea also struggle to make sense of their identities during the tumultuous his...

Language and Communication

Language in Wide Sargasso Sea isn't just a medium for communicating thoughts and feelings, but a social force that actually shapes the fates of the characters. It marks a character's place in socie...

Love

You're more likely to see the theme of love treated in Wide Sargasso Sea under one of its many associated emotions: desire, lust, trust, and happiness, but also hate, fear, and jealousy. Romantic l...

Mortality

While there are certainly many deaths in Wide Sargasso Sea (Antoinette's entire family, for example), neither Antoinette nor Rochester actually die. Instead, death for them becomes a potent metapho...

The Supernatural

Obeah (called "vodou" or "voodoo" in the French-speaking Caribbean), a folk religion indigenous to the Caribbean, casts a huge shadow over this novel, though whether its magic really works is up fo...

Power

Wide Sargasso Sea investigates the theme of power by looking at such institutions as marriage, empire, and slavery. These institutions are all ways in which a person or a group of people can domina...

Versions of Reality

As you read Wide Sargasso Sea, you might catch yourself asking, "OK, would somebody please tell me what's really going on here?" And you wouldn't be alone. In a novel that's written in such a decep...

Contrasting Regions

England and the Caribbean are constantly opposed in Wide Sargasso Sea, but what's more important is to think of England and the Caribbean are ideas, products of the imagination. England is just as...
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