Wide Sargasso Sea

by Jean Rhys

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Part 2, Section 7 Summary

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Rochester continues to narrate, but his voice sounds more cynical and mean. He ponders the approaching hurricane season and how the winds will tear down the trees. From that observation he easily moves on to more personal reflections, contemplating his revenge. He is not specific about the details of this revenge; he merely seems satisfied that the time for his revenge has come. He imagines trees stripped of their limbs and the howling and shrieking of storm winds.

He mentions how he once loved poetry and music in his youth, but now he hates them both. He alludes to pity but then asks if there is no pity for him. With this statement, readers can imagine he has heard that people have expressed pity for Antoinette but not for him. He thinks he is the one who deserves pity the most because he is tied for life to a “lunatic.”

Rochester then mimics a voice, probably Christophine’s, telling him that Antoinette loves him. Rochester disputes this (to himself), stating that Antoinette loves anyone who will love her in return. She lures people to her because she thirsts for their affection. Then Rochester says that Antoinette might know how to play the game of love, but he has a trick or two himself. This is another allusion to his plan for revenge.

As he continues his monologue, he states that Antoinette will never again laugh in the sun. She will not dress up and look at herself in the mirror to admire herself. She will never be satisfied like that again. He calls Antoinette vain and silly. She may want a lover, but she will not have one because he will never make love to her and he will never allow her to be in a position where she can find a lover of her own. Rochester is well aware that Granbois is Antoinette’s favorite place in all the world; it is at Granbois that she feels most safe. He says he will make sure she never sees it again.

Rochester shares one reflection that is almost contradictory to the rest of his thoughts. He says that if Antoinette would shed one real tear, he would take her into his arms. Even if she is a lunatic, he claims, he will love her because she belongs to him. He wants to see the real Antoinette, which he believes she is hiding from him. It seems he is attempting to take everything Antoinette loves from her in order to see her express real emotion. He feels that everything she has shown him up to this point has been an act, that she has merely been playing a role and pretending to love with him.

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Part 2, Section 6 Summary


Part 2, Section 8 Summary