Wide Sargasso Sea Reading Notes Part 1
1) Carefully read page 15 to the break on page 20. What conflicts are revealed in the opening of the novel? Use specific details from the text in of your answer.
Antoinette is a young girl growing up in Jamaica. The first conflict she presents is the cultural differences. Slavery has just ended and her parents are former slave owners. After hanging out with her best friend Tia, Antoinette notices that she stole her pennies and dress. She returns home in her friend’s dress, which her mother views as a disgrace to the family. Her mother Annette marries Mr. Mason, a man from England. One night, the recently freed black slaves protest out their house and torch it. Pierre, Antoinette’s brother is fatally injured, Antoinette becomes ill for a long time, and Mr. Mason leaves Jamaica for months at a time because of the high racial tension. The racial tension was high. Antoinette describes it as, “I never looked at any strange negro. They hated us. They called us white cockroaches.” The most prominent conflict in the first act was the racial tension. 2) What factors do you believe led to the burning of Coulibri? Use specific details from the text in support of your answer.
The major factor that led to the burning of Coulibri is the fact that Annette comes from a slave owning family. Even though the slaves have been freed, the black population has not been paid for their services and hardships during slavery. As a heart-broken Antoinette watches her family's estate burn to the ground, she makes one final effort to retain the life that she has known. She approaches her friend Tia, determined to live with her and resume life as it has always been. Yet the peace Antoinette once found at Coulibri is no longer there to hold on to. Her final encounter with Tia proves to be devastating to Antoinette. Antoinette relates this heart-wrenching experience that will follow her later on. She says, “But now I...