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DISCUSSION / STUDY QUESTIONS

1. Why is Christophine disliked and feared?

2. Who negotiated the marriage between Antoinette and the Englishman and how did these men benefit from the marriage?

3. What did Aunt Cora give to Antoinette and why did she feel her niece would need them?

4. Why did Antoinette choose not to take Christophine’s advice?

5. Why did Amelie sleep with Antoinette’s husband?

6. What is the significance of Antoinette’s husband’s drawing?


7. In what way, if any, did Christophine contribute to Antoinette’s madness?

8. Can Wide Sargasso Sea stand alone as a novel or must it be considered only as the prequel to Jane Eyre?

9. Whose narrative voice is more believable, Antoinette’s or her husband’s? Why?

10. Describe at least two scenes from Part Three and explain how they are based on events from Jane Eyre.

ESSAY TOPIC IDEAS

1. Using adjectives that Antoinette’s husband used when referring to the servants, explain how these words illustrate his attitudes and fears.

2. What animal signified betrayal? Describe the scenes where it appeared and identify the betrayers and the betrayed.

3. Annette wanted to leave Jamaica. Christophine advised Antoinette to leave Jamaica. Why was leaving Jamaica a solution to the Cosway women’s problems?

4. Describe the parent/child relationships in Wide Sargasso Sea.

5. In your opinion, did Antoinette’s husband cause Antoinette to go mad or did he merely speed up the process? Use examples from the novel to support your answer.

6. Contrast Antoinette’s and her husband’s perceptions of nature. How do these differences account for their actions?

7. What do you think was Rhys’ motivation for giving the madwoman in the attic a voice?

8. Why did Rhys deny Antoinette’s husband a name?

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