Wide Sargasso Sea

  • Study Guide
Main Ideas

Motifs

Main Ideas Motifs

Fire

Fires recur throughout the novel, representing destruction, damnation, and smoldering passions. In Part One, Antoinette describes the fire that burned down Coulibri Estate and triggered her mother’s collapse into madness. In Part Two, Rochester describes the use of candles at night, paying particular attention to the moths that burn themselves in the flames. These descriptions not only recall the grotesque death of Annette’s bird, but they also mirror Antoinette’s perverse fascination with fire and foreshadow her own tragic end.