Jane Eyre vs Wide Sargasso Sea

1658 words 7 pages
Tyler Perimenis
Professor Mathews
English 2301W
21 October 2014

Symbolism through Theme Of Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea “To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it,” stated Herman Melville. As implied, without theme, no novel can be considered “mighty” or have any depth. Theme is essential in any work of art. Jane Eyre is a novel by Charlotte Brontë that takes the reader through the experiences of Jane Eyre, from childhood to adulthood. This includes her love for Mr. Rochester, who is the master of Thornfield Hall, the school in which Jane works at as an adult. Wide Sargasso Sea, a novel by Jean Rhys, includes
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The last and perhaps most important theme is dream and foresight which is seen in both texts. Antoinette and Jane both have dreams of their own which forecast their futures. At one particular point, Jane dreams of a garden that is ‘Eden-like’ which is laden with “honey-dew” (Jane Eyre, Chapter 12). After this dream, Mr. Rochester proposes to Jane. Although, an old chestnut tree is split in half by a bolt of lightning which is symbolic of the troubles and problems that are in store in the future for the couple and as expected, troubles do actually arise later on. In comparison, it is evident that Antoinette and Rochester’s marriage spells doom from the beginning. While the couple is on their way to the honeymoon house, they stop in a village named ‘Massacre’, which Rochester instantly does not like due to its foreboding name. It is also evident that he does not care for the residents that live there as he describes them as, “sly, spiteful, malignant perhaps” (Wide Sargasso Sea, Chapter 9). The weather at ‘Massacre’ is also noted as “raining and grey” (Wide Sargasso Sea, Chapter 9). These events are symbolic of the problems ahead. If a honeymoon, which is supposed to be what some would refer to as one of the happiest times of marriage, is as cynical and suspicious as this, the future of the marriage is obviously ill-fated. This comes to fruition later