Theme Of Death In Wide Sargasso Sea

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To most, death is merely a definite action that marks the end of one's life. To others, death can be seen twice in a person's life. The most obvious is the physical death of someone, accompanied with a funeral, coffin, and a period of mourning. The second form of death can occur anytime throughout a person's lifespan, usually stemming from a devastating event that causes one to lose who he or she is on the inside and making him or her zombie-like. Wide Sargasso Sea, a novel by Jean Rhys inspired from Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, demonstrates this idea of two deaths. Rhys uses the motif of zombies, demonstrated through her characters of Annette, Rochester, and Antoinette, to illustrate that the death of one's soul changes one to become seen …show more content…
Being a white creole around black natives and white Englishmen, Annette is scorned from society for having a mixed race. The people around her continuously, "stared, sometimes they laughed. Long after the sound was far away and faint, she kept her eyes shut and her hands clenched. A frown came between her black eyebrows" (11). As the people mock and condescend her, Anette begins to lose her emotions as she is driven into a lifeless and empty object. The disdain shown to Annette forces her to become more inhuman as she slowly succumbs to death, which can also be seen following the event of the Coulibri fire. The fire not only takes away Annette’s husband and two children, but also the only home she can identify with. With everything she loved in her life now gone, Annette begins to, "walk about with no shoes and stockings on her feet, she san culottes…[and has] eyes like zombie" (29). Having everything stripped away from her causes Annette to develop an apathetic and characterless personality. Her zombie-like appearance derives from being stripped of everything and no longer having a reason to be alive. Annette’s real death is induced by the segregation from her neighbors and losing her loved ones, inducing her into a zombie-like state without any emotions or values to …show more content…
Similar to Annette, Antoinette is referred as a zombie as well by Amélie, who states that, “[Antoinette’s] husban’ he outside the door and he look like he see zombie. Must be tired of the sweet honeymoon too” (60). According to Amélie, the zombie that Rochester sees is Antoinette, due to her developing into a crazed woman feared in society. Through being called a zombie, Antoinette has begun shifting into Bertha Mason, losing her inner self and sanity as she becomes more inhuman as a result from being in a loveless marriage. Her voice also begins to sound less human as Rochester can, "scarcely recognized her voice. No warmth, no sweetness. The doll had a doll's voice, a breathless but curiously indifferent voice" (102). The sweetness in Antoinette’s voice has gone, making her seem more like a doll and less of a human. The lack of love from Rochester, as well as his actions of cheating with Amélie, has induced Antoinette to suffer from a loss of her humanity making her hardly recognizable. Antoinette is driven into insanity and is less human the further her relationship with Rochester is progressed, illustrated through the use of the zombie

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