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CONFLICT

Protagonist

The role of protagonist alternates between Antoinette and her husband. In Parts One and Three Antoinette is the narrator and therefore the protagonist because we see the plot from her point of view. She is sensitive and lonely and culturally split, with no one to turn to for support except Christophine. In all but one section of Part Two, the narrator is Antoinette’s husband and it is his struggle we are presented with. He sees Antoinette’s beauty and wants to connect with her, but he finds his wife and her island home disturbing.


Antagonist

Again, the antagonist is either Antoinette or her husband, depending on who is telling the story. Antoinette desperately wants the man to love her. Her conflict is his emotional distance and accusations of madness. His conflict is with Antoinette’s exotic strangeness and disturbing behavior.

Climax

The climax does not occur until the absolute end of the novel. The problems between Antoinette and her husband are resolved when Antoinette decides her purpose and descends from her prison in the attic to set the English house on fire. She is prepared to act out the dream she had just described.

Outcome

As a literary re-creation of Bertha the Jane Eyre character, we know that Antoinette has sealed her own fate. However, as an independent work, Wide Sargasso Sea presents Antoinette’s act as possible deliverance. She is escaping her captor and possibly the madness imposed by him. The flaming, suicidal leap of Bronte’s novel is not described, rather the reader is left with a “to be continued” feel regarding Antoinette’s fate. The novel ends with Antoinette’s resolution to act, her spirit resurrected. The end result is left open.

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