In Wide Sargasso Sea ” Rhys presents a white Creole family living in a Caribbean Island (Jamaica), which is a lush and insecure world for them, after the liberation of the slaves. The husband had once been a slaveholder, the mother is a confused and crazy lady and Antoinette, the daughter, is a child in an atmosphere of fear, recrimination and bitter anger. She becomes increasingly isolated-this isolation is broken by her scheming stepbrother, who signs Antoinette’s inheritance over to the naive Mr. Rochester. The book’s account of Antoinette’s marriage to Mr. Rochester is a study in sexual manipulation and cultural misunderstanding. There is also foreshadowing, irony, and symbolism throughout Wide Sargasso Sea.
In Wide Sargasso Sea, Antoinette’s family is shattered when the ex-slaves torched their home. Her brother died in the fire and that caused her mother to go insane, then her husband left her, which even made her situation worse. Under the care of her aunt, she attended a convent. The convent became her refuge and sunshine, a place where she wished for happiness. “I thought at first, is there no happiness? There must be. Oh happiness of course, happiness, well.” (Rhys 34) After all, Antoinette never was a very happy child. Her parents never really gave her love, her father was too busy drinking himself to death and her mother was too busy doing her own thing.
After her stepfather’s death, her stepbrother decided to marry her off to this Englishman, Mr. Rochester, which she knew nothing about. Mr. Rochester did not marry Antoinette for love or because he fancied her. He married her to claim her fortune. Mr. Rochester seemed to marry Antoinette for money, or perhaps …
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…uld be to disclose everything about herself and her past that she would think Mr. Rochester wanted to know before he would want to marry her. But she might think that it’s in the past, so it’s not really important to let him know every little detail, just the basics or maybe she wanted to give her version of the truth . For example, when Mr. Rochester asked Antoinette what happened to her mother. She told him that her mother died in the fire. Me and Mr. Rochester might look at her and call her a liar because her mother did not die in the fire, she died years later. But to Antoinette her mother did die in the fire, because from the day of the fire her mother changed. she was not the same person, she was now a mad woman. So as you can see this novel is based on truth. But what is the truth?
Rhys, Jean. Wide Sargasso Sea. London: Penguin, 1997.
The Epic Poem, Beowulf – Vengeance and Revenge in Beowulf
Vengeance and Revenge in Beowulf
The oldest of the great lengthy poems written in English and perhaps the lone survivor of a genre of Anglo-Saxon epics, Beowulf, was written by an unknown Christian author at a date that is only estimated. Even so, it is a remarkable narrative story in which the poet reinvigorates the heroic language, style, and values of Germanic oral poetry. He intertwines a number of themes including good and evil, youth and old age, paganism and Christianity and the heroic ideal code, into his principal narrative and numerous digressions and episodes; all of which were extremely important to his audience at the time. Vengeance, part of the heroic code, was regarded differently by the two distinct religions. Christianity teaches to forgive those who trespass against us, whereas in the pagan world, revenge is typical and not considered an evil act. In Beowulf, the ancient German proverb “revenge does not long remain unrevenged” is strictly adhered to and verifies that revenge is part of pagan tradition.
Two human relationships were deeply significant to the Germanic society. The most important, the relationship between the warrior and his lord was based on a common trust and respect. The warrior vows loyalty to his lord and serves and defends him and in turn the lord takes care of the warrior and rewards him lavishly for his valour. The second human relationship was between kinsmen. As Baker and Ogilvy suggest, a special form of loyalty was involved in the blood feud. (P.107) If one of his kinsmen had been slain, a man had an ethical obligation either to kill the slayer or to exact the payment of wergild in compensation. The price was determined upon the rank or social status of the victim…
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… view was “an eye for an eye,” if a man kills your kinsmen you exact revenge. On the contrary, the Christian view was more like as Mohandas Gandhi said “An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” Christians believed God would inevitability do what is right and would rather turn the other cheek then have it result in more blood and murder. Throughout the poem, the poet strives to accommodate these two sets of values. Though he is Christian, he cannot negate the fundamental pagan values of the narrative story.
Works Cited and Consulted:
Abrams, M.H., ed. Beowulf: The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York: W.W. Norton