Wide Sargasso Sea, a novel of racism, feminism, greed, misery and madness, written by Jean Rhys in 1960 this story tells a tale of main character Antoinette Cosway, her life growing up and the paths taken by herself and made by others around her. The author decided to pen this book due to her fondness for Jane Eyre written by Charlotte Bronte and this was meant as an unofficial prequel to the ever popular story, also starring Mr Rochester and Antoinette as Bertha” the madwoman upstairs”.
At the time when Sargasso sea was written Jean Rhys was in the stage of an alcoholic and spent much of her time secluded on her own drinking substantial amounts and taken an antisocial personality.
It has been argued that whilst in this state she laid down words to create this masterpiece and it can be said that the comparison between the mad woman in the attic to the alcohol abusing author was very close indeed and may have had some influence in the way that this piece was written. Whilst being born in Dominica and her mother being Creole it is not difficult to see the link which could be tied to her, understandably she had a lot of experience in this sort of environment and this shows dramatically when one reads this book as we are given a vivid picture of all descriptions and it is clear that she is no stranger to he way of life in those times.
This novel holds very strong issues focusing on the post-colonial era which in turn brought around much racism and feminism. Rhys acknowledges these factors very well and we realise very early on the effects that the emancipation act created in Caribbean islands such as Jamaica. For a large majority of the story is told through the eyes of Antoinette Cosway starting as a young naïve girl growing up, subjected to things which perhaps one may argue that a small child should not be however later in the novel she does become older and we notice her beginning to understand the life which she lives. We also notice a change in narrative...