Part two, section 17

Wide Sargasso Sea pages 105 - 106: All wish to sleep ... ever see England again

Synopsis of part two, section 17

Rochester is deeply disturbed by his confrontation with Christophine. He composes aloud a letter to his family expressing his buried resentments at what he feels to be a marriage contrived to get rid of him. But this is not the one he sends; the written one implies difficulties arising from Antoinette's state of mind but does not state his resentments directly. He also makes arrangements to move back to Jamaica.

Commentary on part two, section 17

  • The biblical reference to a cockerel crowing raises the idea of betrayal. It refers to an episode in the New Testament when, before the Crucifixion, Peter, one of the disciples, denied three times that he knew Jesus Christ. Luke 22:60-61
  • The French phrase meaning the good Lord, the good God is le bon Dieu. It also occurs in the Creole song Antoinette knew which alludes to the teaching that time is elastic with God (2 Peter 3:8).
  • Dormir is the French verb to sleep.
  • Rochester's picture of a dwelling enclosed by trees prefigures Thornfield Hall in Jane Eyre

Investigating part two, section 17

  • Compare the letter Rochester composes in his head with the written letter on the page
    • How and why do they differ?
  • What is the significance of Rochester's drawing of a house?


Scan and go

Scan on your mobile for direct link.