English / A Reflection Of Antoinette'S Live

A Reflection Of Antoinette'S Live

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Autor:  anton  08 March 2011
Tags:  Reflection,  Antoinettes
Words: 1493   |   Pages: 6
Views: 343

Katie Powell


A Reflection of Antoinette’s Life

One theme in this novel Wide Sargasso Sea is Identity. Antoinette’s walk on a path that she is unfamiliar which is a representation of her trying to figure out her identity. Within the first few pages, her life story is told on one simple walk. “So I too left it and stayed away till dark. I was never long at the bathing Pool, I never met Tia. I took another road, past the old sugar works and the water wheel that had not turned for years. I went to parts of Coulibri that I had not seen, where there was no road, no path, no track. And if the razor grass cut my legs and arms I would think ‘It’s better than people.’ Black ants or red ones, tall nests swarming with white ants , rain that soaked me to the skin- once I saw a snake. All better than people. Better. Better, better than people. Watching the red and yellow flowers in the sun thinking of nothing, it was as if a door opened and I was somewhere else, something else. Not myself any longer.” (pg. 16)

The path that she decides to take, so vividly mirrors Antoinette’s life, what she is feeling, and perhaps will be feeling later on in the novel.

The first section in this passage mirrors Antoinette’s life and what she is feeling through change. We see this in the fact that this day is different from the other days. She chose to do her routine differently. It starts out with her staying away till dark. She is staying away from everything else in her life that she deals with on a daily basis. One thing that she is fleeing from is her mother, just as her mother has been abandoning her. Antoinette is portrayed in the same likeness of her mother, so it would only be fitting for her to stay away until dark, just as her mother has been routinely doing. Antoinette is also getting away from the old plantation workers that harass her day to day. She is also choosing not to meet with Tia.

Tia is a girl that is Antoinette’s age; perhaps the closest thing to perceiving Antoinette. Antoinette finds a lot of her identity in Tia, and at times comes across like she wishes she was Tia. As she misses her pool time with Tia, her comfort in seeing the familiar, her only friend, makes her question who she is. She is trying to figure out who she is without the identity she has in Tia. What she experiences on this walk, shows how she feels out of place being without Tia.

Antoinette takes another road. On this other road she sees the old sugar works and water wheel that had not turned for years. These were all things that were a part of her families plantation, that were a part of society in many of the households. But as soon as slavery became illegal, plantations were losing

the hard work and special care that was needed in order for them to stay alive. This is a representation of how life was so much easier for Antoinette before the Emancipation Proclamation. But now, just as they are old and have not turned for years, so is Antoinette feeling worn down, feeling weak, and almost feeling like she is dead inside.

There was no road, no path, and no track on this walk that she had never taken. This represents her road of life, what she feels she can see, or in this case, not see in the future. There is no hope inside her; not for now, not for later. But she also chooses to take this road, perhaps because it is the only familiar comfort she has, where she feels most “at home”; where there is no hope and no vision of the future. This is a day, a walk, and a journey into Antoinette’s mind and future.

The middle section of this passage mirrors Antoinette’s life and what she is feeling through nature. Because this path had no track, she found herself walking in the midst of true nature. The razor grass cut her legs and arms. There is no doubt that Antoinette felt that pain. It must have been an incredible pain, that perhaps cut through her skin, maybe drew blood, or maybe just causes scratches that streamed vertical and horizontal dashes across her limbs. In each case, she felt it. This grass represents all the pain in her life; what she is dealing with at home with the neglect from mother, with the harassment from the old plantation workers that taunt her outside her house, and what she will later have to deal with in meeting her husband and being locked in the attic. But for now, for this moment, the pain of nature, the pain that she feels physically is all better than people. Is all better than dealing with her mother, than dealing with the harassment, than dealing with a husband that hates her. “It’s better than people.”

Not only does Antoinette deal with the pain of razor grass and snakes, but as she takes each step she was in the line of fire with ants. These ants represent all different races. She saw black ants, red ants, and tall nest of white ants. The black and red ants represent the colored people, and the white ants represent the white people. The white ants are in tall nests, they are above the other ants. This is how the culture began for this society. Antoinette use to be that white ant in a tall nest, safe, secure and high above the others. But recently that nest was broken down, and she is among the other colored ants. She is experiencing the pain and harassment from these other ants. The feeling of these ants surrounding her on her walk, crawling around and living like all ants do, is all better than the “ants” that she is around back home.

The rain that soaked her to the skin could symbolize a hope of washing away skin color. The rain is pure, it cleanses and it has soaked through Antoinette’s clothes and is now resting on her skin. It is running off each pore, tracing wet down her skin, but her color does not wash off. In her eyes, it is better to be wet, to be cold, to have the rain soak her body, to be in a place where the wetness could be cleansing than to be with people. People who see her color, who judge color, and who treat color differently. Antoinette mentions that she sees a snake. Snakes are often feared, they are not appealing to most, and they can be deadly. The threat that the snake poses is better to be with than people. In another light, the snake symbolizes the devil. It could symbolize the evilness she feels and sees around her. And she would rather be with this danger and this evil threat than be with people. “All better than people.”

The last section of this passage mirrors Antoinette’s life and what she is feeling is through her viewing the nature around her, and being in the unfamiliar. She watches the red and yellow flowers and spent time thinking. These red and yellow flowers are not displayed in an uncomfortable light, like all the other images in this passage, but rather they are displayed almost pleasantly. They are colorful, vibrant colors. Yellow is a color of happiness, red could be a color of love, and Antoinette takes time to look at them and just be, just think. These flowers don’t pose a threat to Antoinette, which could syblolize the times in her life when she is happy, and I find that she seems most happy when she is in nature.

This passage mirrors Antoinette’s life and what she is feeling, and it isn’t until the very last sentences that Antoinette seems to come to an understanding about her place in her life. “it was as if a door opened and I was somewhere else, something else. Not myself any longer.” Later on in the novel, Antoinette is somewhere else. She moves with her husband. And she is something else. She is a caged being locked in an attic. And she becomes something that is not herself any longer when she starts to loose all sense of reality. This passage mirrors Antoinette’s life.

Wide Sargasso Sea. pg.16

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