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SUMMARIES WITH NOTES

PART TWO - SECTION ONE

Summary

In Part Two, the narrative is taken over by Antoinette’s new husband. He and Antoinette were married and en route to honeymoon at Granbois, an estate that had belonged to Annette, just past a village called Massacre. He presents himself as a victim. He was ill at ease in Jamaica where he had spent weeks with a fever, and he was uncomfortable with his new wife who, though beautiful, was unfamiliar to him. He was paid 30,000 pounds to agree to this marriage, and this arrangement enabled him to become independent of his father and brother in England.

On the way to Granbois, he was overwhelmed by his surroundings. He was as uneasy as his Creole wife was comfortable with the people and environment. The servant, Amelie, who traveled with them, noted this and flirted maliciously with him.


When they arrived at Granbois, Antoinette felt at home. Christophine was there and Antoinette’s husband felt her suspicion. The newlyweds were welcomed with rum punch and crowns of frangipani. He crushed the flowers with his feet and retired to his dressing room. There he wrote a letter of reassurance to his father.

Notes

Antoinette’s husband is never actually called by name in Wide Sargasso Sea. Rhys denies him this identity referring to him as “the man” or “husband”. We know his name, Rochester, from of the character in Jane Eyre. In Part Two we get his perspective on the events that led up to him locking Antoinette (Bertha) in the attic. In his eyes, his Creole bride is strange. That fact that she is so comfortable with the black servants and the uncivilized, tropical surroundings makes him hesitant to accept her.

At remote Granbois, the white male is now the outsider. He feels alienated just as Antoinette did in Part One. His feelings of distrust surface at the very beginning when he is told that it was not slaves, but others that were killed at Massacre. These feelings, however, do not prevent him from behaving condescendingly in the house that Antoinette perceives as her own.

The letter he writes to his father alludes to the fact that the Masons had arranged this marriage.

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