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 deceptively simple style, all we get are different versions of events, and never what really happened. Without an objective, omniscient narrator telling us what's going on, the novel invites us to question the distinction between dream and reality, madness and sanity, superstition and reason, truth and falsity. By giving us a patchwork of different, equally compelling perspectives, the novel casts suspicion on anyone who would dare dismiss any one of those perspectives as less valid than the others.
Antoinette's psychological instability is not due to racial or genetic factors, as Rochester believes, but precipitated by the numerous traumatic experiences that have shattered her sense of self.
By presenting not only different narratives, but also different representations of the same story through dreams, letters, and rumors, the novel calls attention to the different ways in which fictions contribute to our understanding of reality.