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Seminar paper from the year 2017 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Comparative Literature, grade: 2,7, University of Constance, course: British and American Studies, language: English, abstract: This work focuses on the question of identity in the novel "Wide Sargasso Sea". Antoinette, the female protagonist of Jean Rhys' novel "Wide Sargasso Sea", is struggling with those questions of her identity all her life. As a Creole girl, who lives in Jamaica during post-colonialism, she finds herself caught between two identities not knowing where she belongs. On the one hand, there is the black community which she knows and grows up with, on the other hand the white community which her mother tries to be a part of and forces Antoinette to fit into as well. This life between two contrasting cultures forces Antoinette into a situation of confusion and doubt which makes her question not only where she belongs but if she belongs at all. It drives her into a crisis which she is not able to escape.Jean Rhys published her novel in 1966. "Wide Sargasso Sea" tells the story of Antoinette Cosway who is also, known under the name of Bertha, a character of Charlotte Brontë's novel "Jane Eyre". In "Wide Sargasso Sea" Rhys is giving Bertha/ Antoinette a story and a reason why she became mad in the first place. The story starts in her childhood and moves on to the marriage to Mr. Rochester. The last part is set when she is already imprisoned by her husband and is setting the house on fire which accords with the story told in "Jane Eyre".For the background of the novel it is important to know that Rhys herself grew up in a situation like Antoinette's. She as well had troubles with identifying herself when she grew up. So Rhys shares part of Antoinette's history which is probably why she was that interested in telling her story which is completely uncared-for by Brontë.
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