That criticism has existed since Wide Sargasso Sea was published in 1966. Many critics of the time said that it could not stand alone, and that it had to be read with Jane Eyre to make complete sense. Early reviewer Walter Allen declared that the book could not exist in its own right. Rather than looking at Wide Sargasso Sea as a revenge novel, you could look at it as a novel of isolation, or as many critics see it, one that expounds of prejudice and race relations. I think that when you look at it this way, it becomes something that can stand on its own, and has much merit.