2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

A Psychoanalytic Analysis of Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea
Heather N. Farrier
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea begins with Antoinette as a happy newlywed in a state of blissful harmony with her surroundings. Through her experiences with her husband, Rochester, she becomes a destroyed woman who is pushed to the verge of insanity. Rochester mistreats and degrades her horrifically. As a result of this torture, he eventually breaks her down spiritually and mentally so that every last piece of happiness in her life is extinguished, and she is forcefully removed from her home to be locked up in a faraway attic (to be the madwoman Bertha of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre). I wish to explore this fascinating relationship from a Psychoanalytic perspective. By drawing on aspects of Social Psychology, focusing upon psychological reactance, stereotypes and prejudices and the dynamics of intimate relationships, this paper will give psychological explanations for the motivations underlying Rochester’s behavior and Antoinette’s reactions.

Keywords: Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea, Psychoanalytic , Jane Eyre


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 27-2
Location: VH 1232
Time: 10:00 am

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