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Wide Sargasso Sea (Norton Critical Editions) (edition 1998)

by Jean Rhys, Judith L. Raiskin (Editor)

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382None28,024 (3.7)7
Member:jaeminuf
Title:Wide Sargasso Sea (Norton Critical Editions)
Authors:Jean Rhys
Other authors:Judith L. Raiskin (Editor)
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (1998), Paperback, 270 pages
Collections:Your library, Read, Read Partial, 14+, Tutor SAT RL, Tutor Want
Rating:****
Tags:8 20C, Acid-, Affect, Annotated, Caribbean, Class, Colonialism, Ethics, Family, Female Author, Female Protagonist, Feminist, Fiction, Gender, Fiction Romance, Film Adaptation, Heavy, Identity, Imperialism, List1001, ListGuardian1000, ListML100, Literary Analysis, Literature, Love, Marginality, Narrator Unreliable, Novel, Power, Prejudice, Pub Norton, Race, RatedR, Read, Slavery, Subjectivity, Tragedy, Trauma, Travel, Shelf13N

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Wide Sargasso Sea [Norton Critical Edition] by Jean Rhys

1960s (172)

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» See also 7 mentions

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Excerpt from Linus's Blanket - Rhys is a thought provoking and insightful writer. She puts the truth of people and their situations into her colorful characters and their dialogue, and lets her readers draw their own conclusions. It’s not a happy book, and if you’ve read Jane Eyre you don’t go into it with much hope for Antoinette because you already now the ending, but I enjoyed reading it and the perspective that it provided. It’s also one of those books that will yield more with each reading. Jane Eyre fans and those looking to read plantation era Caribbean fiction should definitely check this one out. ( )
  daniellnic | Sep 24, 2013 |
Very pre-feminist in its look at the mad woman in the attic. Nice and short too. Have i said I like short? ( )
  AnnB2013 | Mar 14, 2013 |
Wide Sargasso Sea
By Jean Rhys

Several times I’ve come close to reading this short novel – and several times my courage left me. I love Jane Eyre – adore the novel and must say here – Jane Eyre is my favorite novel.
But I suppose Wide Sargasso Sea had to be written. That is what we do – especially women, we turn over the stone to see what truth crawls beneath, lance open the sore, press where it hurts.
But here I must say I was disappointed – in my fears.
I had nothing to fear because I soon realized I had no intention of defending Edward Fairfax Rochester. The man was drifting, filthy rich, lost soul, in Jane Eyre and in Wide Sargasso Sea that’s what he was as well.
And yes, larger books can be written about the differences between Jane, so Christian and Bertha, (Antoinette) so cynical but I won’t. Suffice it to say that one book was written in the 19th century with ideas and themes to the world – the other was written in the 20th century with ideas and themes to the world.
What both works share is a definite sort of axe to grind.
Prejudice – both Jane and Bertha suffered due to the “upper class,” disdain toward them – and the oddity that these “adults,” were picking on children – oddity I suppose is putting it too mildly – these were young girls and both authors made sure that we should blush on behalf of being adult.
The hate toward both young girls is staggering. The difference is that Jane was set, determined, understood she was plain, understood she had to find a way in the world. Bertha was hindered by her physical beauty – she was easily cast off because of her beauty - for who knows how quickly that would fall to ruin.
In the end – as Rochester defines his own suffering – the maiming of his arm, the loss of his hand and the even more terrible admonition “I’d give my sight,” Rochester stays the same. Vain. Self-seeking. Pandering – yes pandering of himself – his physical love - and not learning there is no satisfaction in it without love.
In keeping true to Rochester, Ms Rhys does make a viable and yes honest rendition of “The other Mrs. Rochester. “
I’m glad my courage did not fail me in the end. ( )
  skwoodiwis | Dec 3, 2012 |
This short story was fabulous. But the background of it is even more fascinating. Jean Rhys grew up as a white woman in the Caribbean and went to study in England when she was 17. Even though she never returned for more than a few weeks, she always considered herself to be a white Creole and resented the English. She read Jane Eyre and felt that she related less to Jane and more to the minor character of Bertha. (I won't ruin it for anyone who hasn't read Jane Eyre.) So she wrote a beautiful story with Bertha as the main character. It's meaningful and interesting, and talks about zombies! (Although the voudou kind, not the contagious rage-filled monkeys kind) ( )
  norabelle414 | Nov 2, 2011 |
I’ve been meaning to read Wide Sargasso Sea for a while now, as Jane Eyre is one of my all-time favourites. This is not because I necessarily approve of the characters’ decisions (and I do think the ending is a cop-out), but I enjoyed Jane’s sincerity and compassion. Wide Sargasso Sea takes on the same story from the point of view of Mr. Rochester’s mad wife, and so addresses the problem of Annette/Bertha being dehumanised and neatly disposed of as a neat ending to Bronte’s problem.

I am glad I read this, but did not exactly enjoy it: I had a hard time engaging with the story. On the other hand, there was much to think about, and the dumb ending made a lot more sense with Rhys’s take on the matter. It was a good ending for this book.

I found the Norton Critical Edition to be extremely frustrating. Footnotes would often take up half a page, but only one in ten were actually useful. The rest were trivial, and for the most part, glaringly obvious comments. Nonetheless, I was continually distracted by them hoping that the next one would be enlightening. This edition not recommended. ( )
  Sorrel | Oct 6, 2010 |
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Do Not Combine: This is a "Norton Critical Edition", it is a unique work with significant added material, including essays and background materials. Do not combine with other editions of the work. Please maintain the phrase "Norton Critical Edition" in the Canonical Title and Publisher Series fields.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393960129, Paperback)

Written over the course of twenty-one years and published in 1966, Wide Sargasso Sea, based on Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, takes place in Jamaica and Dominica in 1839–45.

Textual notes illuminate the novel’s historical background, regional references, and the non-translated Creole and French phrases necessary to fully understand this powerful story. Backgrounds includes a wealth of material on the novel’s long evolution, it connections to Jane Eyre, and Rhys’s biographical impressions of growing up in Dominica. Criticism introduces readers to the critical debates inspired by the novel with a Derek Walcott poem and eleven essays.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:46 -0400)

Beautiful and wealthy Antoinette Cosway's passionate love for an English aristocrat threatens to destroy her idyllic West Indian island existence and her very life; accompanied by notes and criticism.

(summary from another edition)

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