The Narrative Voice in Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhy – Book Report/Review Example

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The paper “ The Narrative Voice in Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhy ” is an intriguing variant of a book review on sociology. The work is about postcolonial fiction that captures the pathos of a community undergoing bitter and deep change. The author, Jean Rhys has chosen to relate the essence of different conflicts in different voices. As a postmodern novel, the author exemplifies the literary ideals of a given period. As a matter of fact, the author’ s use of varied narrative voices is regarded as one of the most outstanding aspects of the book and it promotes a beautifully expository stylistic device that is capable of revealing the personal perspective of central characters.

Such voices become Rhys’ narrative foundation and it is connected to the people and their natural environment. This is uniquely presented despite the superficial nature of the different skin colors in the novel---which is nonetheless condemnatory. The adoption of varied narration in such expression is part of the universal clash between some opposites such as male and female characters in the text. This is the point of departure in this essay; critically assessing the splitting of the narrative voice in Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and its bearing upon the theme of oppression. To begin with, the author has managed to bring a patchwork of different first-person narratives, such as directed to Antoinette Rochester or Grace Poole.

To contextualize this statement, the activities as they happened when Antoinette was young (the narration is in Part I) is a clear indication of an author who makes attempts to explicitly convey the theme of oppression. This has been accentuated due to voices are expressed from multifaceted gossipy points of view such as Amé lie, Daniel, and Christophine among others.

Interestingly, in all these voices, the author does not give readers the actual truth instead, splitting of such voices shows the omniscient or impartial observer thus making it difficult to follow the spiral of events. Christophine has been used to justify a split of voice and justification of the theme of oppression. The point, in this case, is that the character of Christophine has been constructed to show how various voices suggest different levels of oppression in the text.

This is accentuated when Antoinette narrates about Christophine. Her significance as an influence has been brought out by the attention she receives in Antoinette’ s memories. For instance, her manner, appearance, and personality are carefully constructed by the child, Antoinette. This has been conceptualized by the Gossip and fragments of dialogue that has been retold by Antoinette which helps in building the suffering people as Christophine went through. It is due to such oppression as expressed in gossipy voices that girls of the bayside are afraid of Christophine.

Another split of voice in this case is the point of view Rochester has towards Christophine. This particular point of view has been expressed in his narration in Part II. Rochester sees Christophine as a servant at Gradbois but the lady (Christophine) becomes implicated in the web of suspicions that has been spun by the letter written by Daniel Cosway. The theme of oppression as justified by this voice is when the latter is subjected to Rochester’ s implacable hostility once there is suspicion that Christophine is using obeah practices on him (Rochester).

Works Cited

Adamson, Joni, and Scott Slovic. “Guest Editors’ Introduction the Shoulders We Stand On An Introduction to Ethnicity and Ecocriticism.” Spec. issue of MELUS Ethnicity and Ecocriticism 34.2 (2009): 5-24. JSTOR. Web. 23 Oct. 2012. .

Aizenberg, Edna. “‘I Walked with a Zombie’: The Pleasures and Perils of Postcolonial Hybridity.” World Literature Today 73.3 (1999): 461-66. JSTOR. Web. 23 Oct. 2012. .

Rhys, Jean. The Wide Sargasso Sea. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1992. Print.

Vital, Anthony. “Toward an African Ecocriticism: Postcolonialism, Ecology and ‘Life & Times of Michael K.’” Research in African Literatures 39.1 (2008): 87-106. JSTOR. Web. 20 Oct. 2012. .

Winterhalter, Teresa. “Narrative Technique and the Rage for Order in ‘Wide Sargasso Sea.’” Narrative 2.3 (1994): 214-29. JSTOR. Web. 23 Oct. 2012. .

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