“Wide Sargasso Sea”, by Jean Rhys

Book Reviews

I’ve just finished reading “Wide Sargasso Sea” and I have to say it is now one of my favourite novels. After studying Jane Eyre for two years, I’ve always felt there were so many uncertainties in the book, mostly revolving around Bertha Mason. Rhys has exceptionally filled in those gaps, and given a true voice to such a marginalized character. Not only is Antoinette, or Bertha, dehumanized by Bronte, she was labelled as mad before the reader was even given a chance to form their own opinion. I’m so glad I read this book, it was mind-blowingly thought-provoking and really made me empathise and appreciate everything Bertha Mason stood for. Although, it’s incredibly insulting to still call her Bertha Mason. Ultimately, I felt a sense of relief when she came to a sudden realisation at the end of Part Three. She found freedom in the saddest of ways, but she found freedom nonetheless. Rhys also addresses the underlying issues of colonialism exquisitely; not only is she very accurate, but she paints a perfectly understandable picture of what it was like for the colonized and the colonizer.

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