Part two, section 15

Wide Sargasso Sea pages 87 - 92: A suffocating dream ... Contempt for Christophine

Synopsis of part two, section 15

Rochester wakes feeling ill and possibly drugged. Hating Antoinette, he leaves the house and, in a distressed state, makes his way to the ruined house and its garden. There he sleeps until the evening. Returning, he is given something to eat by Amélie and they make love. In the morning he finds her less attractive, noticing racial features that he is prejudiced against. He pays Amélie, calling it a ‘present'.

Antoinette and the servants know what he has done. Antoinette and the cook leave. Apparently unconcerned, he writes a letter to make enquiries about Christophine in Jamaica and receives a reply which shows how much power the white planters still have over black people.

Commentary on part two, section 15

  • Antoinette described the same frown in her mother's face that Rochester notices on her forehead.
  • Demerara is the coastal area of Guyana, South America, famous for its production of sugar.
  • Rio de Janeiro is a large city in Brazil. Amélie is running a risk in planning to go there, since slavery was not abolished there until 1888.
  • The manager of an estate was known as the Overseer.
  • Mr Fraser is the name of the magistrate in Spanish Town.
  • Mr Fraser's letter refers to Christophine incurring penalties resulting from the laws against obeah.
  • Rochester seems to be confused about Christophine's name and then uses Antoinette's pet name for her nurse.


Investigating part two, section 15

  • In what ways does Rochester behave like one of the white plantation owners in this section?


Scan and go

Scan on your mobile for direct link.