The MotherLand As Mirror Reflections On Identit

7 July 2017

The Mother ( Land ) As Mirror: Contemplations On Identit Essay, Research Paper

The Mother ( land ) as a Mirror: Contemplations on Identity in Jean Rhys Wide Sargasso Sea Wide Sargasso Sea is a queerly beautiful and stalking narrative of acertain Creole Madwoman locked up in an English loft without a voice andwithout a past. Jane Eyre provided the inspiration for Rhys novel but thework is non limited to a simple reply to the earlier text. Rhys takes on amultitude of issues refering the consequence of the disintegrating colonial system onthe Caribbean. Among these concerns is the issue of individuality, which Rhysaddresses through the complicated and frequently symbolic mother-daughterrelationship. Antoinette Cosway begins her narrative at a unequivocal point in herchildhood when the fortunes under which she lives have begun tointensify. She lives in a volatile universe of sudden alteration and uprising & # 8211 ; herold manner of life is crumpling before her immature eyes. This is the sphere in which Jean Rhys sets up her post-colonial discourse of one of the most mysteriouscharacters in English Literature, and the most challenging portion of that discourseis the issue of individuality in relation to the Mother and fatherland.

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The mother-daughter relationship can be defined in footings of a mirror, and the success of that relationship is shown in the quality and the deepness ofthe contemplation. The female parent figure represents the first external mirror, finally internalized, into which a miss kid looks to detect her individuality. ( Scharfmann, p. 89 ) This fresh unambiguously depicts how different issues, somebeyond human control, can queer this mirror bond and do a devastation ofidentity & # 8211 ; mother s face is non so the mirror. The consequence of this isdetrimental. So perception takes the topographic point of apperception, perceptual experience takesthe topographic point of that which might hold been the beginning of a significantexchange with the universe, a bipartisan procedure in which ego enrichmentalternates with the find of significance in the universe of seenthings ( Winnicott, p.113 ) . There is an intense focal point on the power of the female parent figure and thesearch for individuality in the novel. The most of import facet of that power isthe ability to give to and have from the girl the strength of a concreteidentity, the peace in cognizing who you are, and the foresight of where youare traveling and where you have been. This beautiful and go arounding flow ofidentity realisation between the female parent and girl is non possible in thisnovel for two distinct and separate grounds, one is selfishness and the other isthe job of when the land and the organic structure do non co-occur. The motherfigure and failed mirroring is represented in two characters & # 8211 ; Christophinewhose power lies in love that transcend

s biological science and race, and AnnetteCosway ( the birth female parent ) who has an equal and opposite power to wreckhavoc and despair through the cold rejection of her girl. The [ birth ] female parent herself is an emblem and a victim of the colonialsystem. Her plantation is a relic, an island of white now adrift in a black seawhere, as she says, she is marooned. ( Scharfmann, p. 100 ) The protagonistAntoinette longs to hold a connexion with her biological female parent but thealienation of their relationship is evident even on the first page. Her motherAnnette, from which her ain name is a derision, is described as she prettylike reasonably self ( Wide Sargasso Sea, p 1 ) . The innuendo of such extremenarcissism is really revealing. Her coldness is proved rapidly every bit good: A frown came between her black superciliums, deep–it might hold been cut with aknife. I hated this scowl and one time touched her brow seeking to smooth it. But shepushed me off, non approximately, but calmly, in cold blood, without a word, as if she haddecided one time and for all that I was useless to her…Oh allow me entirely, she would state, letme alone. ( P. 20 ) Christophine, a old wise Obeah adult female who is a former slave of theCosways, takes over as the emotional female parent of Antoinette. Her failure liesin the distinguishable correlativity in the novel between the brooding quality of themother-daughter relationship and the land of their birth. This is the reasonthat keeps Christophine, despite all her love, from being Antoinette s mirror. Antoinette Cosway is a miss without a state. She is foreign in any settingwhether it be the land of her birth or the land of her ascendants. Even thoughChristophine is basically Antoinette female parent, her strength, the lone one whocan console Antoinette and understands all her complexnesss she can non saveAntoinette. This love may look boundless but it can non over step one deepdivide–Antoinette is non and can ne’er be one of Christophine s people. Christophine can non see herself in Antoinette. The contemplation is one sided.Antoinette can non be a portion of the island, she is a lone and deceasing exoticbreed–a unusual mix of Creole civilization and English tegument. She exists in themargin, she is a fuzz of different textures that are destined to disintegrate in thewake of the passing colonial manner of life. This spread can non be bridged by love, hope or understanding –for it is every bit broad as the Sargasso. She can non belong:

It is that vocal about white cockroach. That s me. That s what they call us who where here before their ain people in Africa sold them to break one’s back bargainers. And I & # 8230 ;

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