Part one, section 4

Wide Sargasso Sea pages 12 - 13: Annette's marriage ... A forgotten song

Synopsis of part one, section 4

Antoinette is a bridesmaid when her mother marries Mr Mason, one of the new incoming planters. Her unhappiness shows in her withdrawn, uncommunicative attitude to the other guests. She notes their hypocrisy as they gossip about her mother behind her back. According to the gossip, Antoinette's father, old Cosway, had a number of mistresses and illegitimate children, whilst married to her mother.

Commentary on part one, section 4

  • Economic troubles were experienced after the slaves were given their freedom by the Emancipation Act. (See: Social / political context > Slavery, slave resistance and the anti-slavery movement)
  • Antoinette's father is referred to as Old Cosway.
  • Many of the white men who owned the estates fathered children by their female black slaves. These illegitimate children were referred to pejoratively as bastards.
  • The privy was another name for a lavatory or toilet.
  • The old man referred to distastefully is the servant Godfrey.


Investigating part ones, section 4

  • In this section we hear a lot of local gossip through overheard dialogue
    • What do we find out from this gossip?


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