Sunday, January 21, 2007

Wide Sargasso Sea

I just re-read Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea, a book that was part of an Am. Lit/Jane Eyre seminar I took last year. Beyond the first 20 pages, I remembered almost nothing of the book, so it was a fascinating re-read, and my head is still spinning from Rhys' maddening representation of madness (clumsy sentence, but the best I've got right now.)

Wide Sargasso Sea tells the backstory of Bertha Mason, how and why she met and married Rochester, and where her madness stems from.

Of interest in the book: jewelry as currency for the women (most of whom are currency themselves) and the fascination with dresses. I'm going to assume these are deliberate connections with Jane Eyre and return to ponder Rhys' focus on this.

Also of interest: employer/employee relationships. Lines are muddled all over the place re: who is in control when. This fits really well with Mr. Rochester's relationship with Jane in Brontë's novel.

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