Wide Sargasso Sea: Antoinette’s Living Spaces as a Case study

Author: Fann

Keywords: Space, Postcolonial, Racism, Madness, Black, White, Identity


This study explores the identity formation and mobility of the role of Antoinette in the novel “Wide Sargasso Sea” from the perspective of the cultural and human geography. In general, it is a space and place study. The thesis suggests that Antoinette has some conditions and circumstances that she developed in an autonomic manner with different experiences in order to navigate and recognize the dangerous and safe spaces around her. Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys, elaborates a self-sacrifice experience that the protagonist went through in her search for identity, which she lost due to the circumstances around her. In this research, a psychological analysis of Antoinette’s personality will be taken, moreover; an attempt is made to find out the reasons for her schizophrenic behavior. The research focuses on Antoinette’s shattered identity and the specters she faced in her life, which ultimately played a huge role in her madness. Also, the visible opposite aspects of black/white, rationality/unconsciousness, male/female, and sanity/madness are conceived by her conscious mind, and it causes the frantic thoughts of insanity, womanhood, and blackness. Also, it sheds light on Antoinette’s journey in life to figure out where she belongs and her struggle in this search. Antoinette’s personality and identity crisis as a Creole girl will be discussed in depth. There are different areas that are explored in this paper; such as the interpretation of how the surrounding spaces affect Antoinette and the reasons behind the absence of a loving mother in Wide Sargasso Sea. Furthermore, Rochester’s character is also examined to find out how the masculine space differs from feminine space, and to what extent Mr. Rochester’s cruelty harms Antoinette. Another important thing that is discussed in the paper is the effect of family relationships on a person’s identity, and how it becomes a reason of mental disorder.