: Describe the way in which Rhys present natural imagery on pages 5-7 and elsewhere in the text. Essay

Submitted By olive1234567890
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Rhys makes use of natural imagery to capture the tension of a society undergoing profound and bitter changes. Natural imagery is used to enable the reader to gain a much deeper perception and understanding of the characters and their lives. She symbolises the stages of their emotional journey through nature. For example, the sea represents suicide and death, whilst the garden mirrors the garden of Eden and consequently foreshadows the changes to come, as well as Antoinette’s family’s downfall and death. The garden is overshadowed by images of rotting, death and destruction. Rhys uses flowers to reflect Antoinette’s sexuality, but the flowers being ‘trampled’ foreshadows the end of all good things such as Annette and Mr mason’s marriage as well as Rochester and Antoinette’s marriage. Phallic

The depiction of death imagery is recurring throughout the novella. Rhys oxymoronic statement “ One calm evening…… Swam out to sea” gives a sense of danger and death lurking despite the idea of the evening being calm, with this statement, she sets the notion from the onset that Antoinette and her mother were never safe regardless of the false notion of peace that came with the post emancipation. The natural imagery “sea” is used figuratively and also as a symbol of death and suicide indicating the gradual process in which Antoinette and her mother begin to lose their identity and their sense of self as both experience metaphoric deaths at the hand of the patriarchy. Rhys uses Mr Lutrell’s death at “sea” due to his wait for compensation to show the isolation and rejection gotten from the English society to Antoinette and her family. Rhys goes on to link the death of Mr Lutrell at “sea” and Annette’s “clear view of the sea”. The link is used to indicate the contrasting sea, as the clear view of the sea by Annette is her ability to see the rejection of her family by the Jamaican society which is due to their association with Mr Cosway ,who was a despised slave holder before the emancipation, this indication is proved by the jeering Annette got as she viewed the sea. In other words “sea” can be seen as the renouncement of Antoinette and her family in both societies , establishing the conflict of the Wide Sargasso Sea, the troubles of an identity “at sea” between two societies who are unable to reach either shore.

Natural imagery is heightened by the use of onomatopoeia in the statement ‘shutters banging in the wind’. Rhys use of onomatopoeia reveals the extreme alienation and isolation of Antoinette and her family by both societies, the extent of their alienation is Antoinette’s ability to hear the banging of the shutters by the wind from her home. The “wind” is utilised figuratively as a way of echoing the isolation and alienation by the society to the Cosways. Antoinette goes on to describe the death of their horse, which lay under the “frangipani tree”. Rhys uses a frangipani tree as a symbol of evil and hatred as the flowers gotten from the tree are used for burials and it is also related to vampires this is seen in proximity with the “two wreaths of frangipani lay on the bed” which was trampled on by Rochester, this foreshadows Rochester’s hatred of Antoinette as the expectancy of his own society puts him on a fence and is enhanced by the rejection of Antoinette by her own society which would lead to the end of their marriage merited by societies rejection. Flowers are further used to reflect hatred and end when “The cedar tree flowers which only lasts for a day,”is used to show the end of all good