Part two, section 5

Wide Sargasso Sea pages 51 - 53: Waking uneasily ... Taking care about red ants

Synopsis of part two, section 5

Rochester recalls waking the next morning and feeling uneasy, a sensation that persists throughout his visit to Granbois. This time it is because he sees that Antoinette has been watching him while he is asleep. They are served breakfast by Christophine who is dressed up to honour their first honeymoon night at Granbois.

Rochester's critical comments illustrate his very different English values and his ignorance of West Indian culture. Antoinette tries to guide him by explaining details of the place's natural world and customs.

Commentary on part two, section 5

Guava, photo by Fibonacci, available through Creative Commons

  • Cassava is a root from which a type of flour can be made.
  • Guava is a small, yellow tropical fruit.
  • Christophine's opinion of tea popularly drunk by English ladies (as opposed to coffee) is to compare it to urine.
  • Rochester quotes a phrase from a poem written in the late sixteenth century about a dead girl called Rose who ‘has lived as roses live / for one morning'.

Investigating part two, section 5

  • Examine the contradictions in Rochester's response to the place and its people.
    • List what he likes and responds to
    • List what he dislikes or is fearful of
  • In this and the next section there are several images of transience, of things not lasting
    • Make a note of them as you read.
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