A Reflection of Antoinette’s Live
Essay title: A Reflection of Antoinette’s Live
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