Floral Images are central to the theme in the novel Wide Sargasso Sea. They are present throughout the entire novel and also have an effect on the atmosphere. There are several examples.
The first and most prominent floral image in the novel is of the garden at Coulibri, "But it had gone wild. The paths were overgrown and a smell of dead flowers mixed with the fresh living smell." (p.16). Antoinette describes the garden as being full of life but now everything is dead, this symbolizes something that is beautiful but gone back or is not going to last long. The garden is also compared to the garden of Eden, "Our garden was large and beautiful as that garden in the Bible-the tree of life grew there"(p.16). When she refers to the "tree of life growing there" it is as though she is looking back and relating to the former slave owners. She also says "The scent was very sweet and strong. I never went near it."(p.16). This excerpt is symbolizing her constant fear to ever be close to giving love.
Another floral image is that of pink roses, "There where two pink roses touched it the petals dropped."(p.72), "have all beautiful things sad destinies."(p.72). These quotes are referring that Antoinette is beautiful like her mother but look at their destinies.
Another image is that of a falling flower, "One morning a small flower fell looked like snow."(p.53). In other words the flower was too fragile to resist the wind like Antoinette who is too fragile to receive... [continues]
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