Click to buy this novel now – Wide Sargasso Sea (Norton Critical Editions)
It is a movie based on Jean Rhys’ novel of the same name and is a prequel to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. It is a story told from the view point of Antoinette Cosway, who is known as Bertha Mason, a white Jamaican-Creole, in Jane Eyre (although, I didn’t talk about Bertha in my review of the novel, as she has already been referred to as a mad woman, therefore I didn’t want to insult her more by mentioning how she’s been addressed in the novel).
I was already sympathizing with Bertha when I read Jane Eyre, but after watching Wide Sargasso Sea, I became assured of my feeling of hatred for Rochester and sympathy for that locked woman in the attic, who’s been incarcerated on the third floor of Thornfield with a tag if being “lunatic”.
This madwoman who’s been shown in the bad light in the novel, became the main protagonist for Jean Rhys’ novel. In an interview, Rhys said that the moment she read Bronte’s novel, she found herself sympathizing with Bertha, who’s been declared as a mad wife of Rochester and decided to make her heroine of her novel, to show her side of story!
The question that remains unanswered in Jane Eyre is that whether Bertha was really mad or whether Rochester made a falsified representation of her being mad or whether Rochester’s rakish and infidel acts made her mentally upset? Thus Rhys’ novel answers such questions and justifies Bertha’s stand, that she wasn’t mad organically, but rather was the victim of orientalism and an infidel\lusty husband, who married her only for the sake of money!
Thus, if you wanna join my league of hating Rochester, then please do watch out this movie to see how women were the victims of double oppression, first due to being an orient and second due to being a ” woman”\the other of male!
Here’s the link –