Thesis statement: the interpretation of the content of the three dreams and the analysis of the function of them in Wide Sargasso Sea. I. Introduction
The three dreams of Antoinette, the heroine in Wide Sargasso Sea, serve as a significant role throughout the novel. This essay aims at interpreting the context of the three dreams and analyzing the function of them. II. Body:
A. the interpretation of the underlying content of the three dreams 1. The theory of symbolism
2. Dream I presented the symbol “forest” and this dream reflected a signal of danger. 3. Dream II presented the symbol “white dress”, “tree”, “enclosed garden” and this dream showed the future of her marriage. 4. Dream III presented the symbol “mirrors”, ”fire” and this dream means her loss and pursuit of her identity. B. the function of the three dreams based on the interpretation of the first part. 1. Function I is to promote and predict the development of the plots. 2. Function II is to reveal the heroine’s sense of identity III. Conclusion
The three dreams in WSS are vital features in this novel. These dreams are full of symbols which have profound meanings. The underlying context of the dreams can be interpreted by the illustration of these symbols. And based on the underlying context, the three dreams have two main functions. They serve to promote and predict the development of the plots in WSS as well as to reveal the heroine’s sense of identity.
Three Dreams in Wide Sargasso Sea The mad woman imprisoned in the attic--she was the former wife of Mr. Rochester, the hero in the classic novel Jane Eyre. She was a wild, crazy and dreadful character just like a “beast” in Jane’s eyes. However, Charlotte Bronte didn’t give direct and detailed descriptions on her, which left dissatisfaction to readers, especially Jean Rhys. Then in 1966, Wide Sargasso Sea (WSS for abbreviation), the masterpiece of Jean Rhys, in which she successfully corrected the misunderstood image of the madwoman and revealed her sense of identity loss between white and black, came out and raised a great sensation. There are many outstanding writing styles in WSS, among which the three dreams are a significant feature in description. Over the years, Antoinette, the heroine in WSS, had fragment dreams. The further the story went, the clearer her dream was. The dream totally appeared three times, each time at the crucial moment. This essay includes 2 parts. First is the interpretation of the underlying content of the three dreams by using the theory of symbolism and then it will discuss about the function of the three dreams based on the interpretation of the first part. In literary sense, the term “symbol” is applied to “a word or phrase that signifies an object or event which in its turn signifies something, or has a range of reference, beyond itself” (Abrams 311). In literature, symbols maybe objects or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts. In this particular novel, “dream” serves as a collection of symbols. To be more specific, there were many key symbols, such as the forest, the white long dress, the tree, the enclosed garden, the fire in Antoinette’s dream. The meanings of these symbols made up the underlying content of the three dreams, where she had to face misfortune and make choices. Dream I happened when Tia, her best childhood friend, cheated her of three pennies and robbed her dress. That night she had a dream, “… I was walking in the forest. Not alone. Someone who hated me was with me, out of sight. I could hear heavy footsteps closer and though I struggled and screamed I could not move.” (Jean Rhys 23) In this dream, forest stands for the place where she was at that time—her homeland in West Indies. Being full of passion and vitality, forest stands for wild and mysterious nature, which is just like the local conditions and customs in West Indies. Because...
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