Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea: The Spoilt Rose

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Spoiled Rose
A child is a reflection of their parents becoming a product of their environment. Childhood is the most crucial stage in life, for this is when a child is most impressionable. What is experienced, felt, and taught is what shapes a child into who they will become upon entering adulthood. Antoinette (Bertha) Mason from Jean Rhy’s Wide Sargasso Sea, is victim to mental injury, forced to grow up on her own, feeling out of place without the love and care of her mother. The loneliness and hurt she felt at a young age imprisoned her to a life of unhappiness. Eventually madness took over her which mushroomed furthermore in her arranged marriage to Mr. Rochester, who unravels her already precarious mental state. He drives her to the point where Bertha decides to take her life, believing in a deluded state it is her destiny. Her tragic life reveals the importance of growing up in a stable home environment, especially in her day, and location, given her social status and race, growing up stable was not a basket of roses considering her circumstances.

Early on, we learn of Antoinette’s family life, with the absence of her father all she has is her mother and younger brother who suffers from a learning disabled state which prevents her from bonding with him. Then there is Christophine who is their servant, a black obeah woman who becomes of great influence to her, as well as Tia her brief and only childhood friend who is of African descent. Her mother is very distant with her, only paying attention to her sick brother. Although she was not physically abused, Antoinette suffered severe emotional abuse due to un-acceptance of others as well as neglect and lack of love from her Mother, which in some cases is more harmful because it goes unnoticed until it becomes too late. According to an article exploring the nature of victim and victimizer emotional abuse is a silent attacker. “Emotional abuse (psychological abuse, verbal abuse, and mental...
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