"I dreamed that I was walking in the forest. Not alone. Someone who hated me was with me, out of sight. I could hear heavy footsteps coming closer and though I struggled and screamed I could not move." 

This quotation from Part One describes the first of many dreams that Antoinette has throughout the course of the novel and foreshadows the entrapment she will ultimately experience in her marriage. The figure of “someone who hated [her]” is a nod towards Rochester, and the fact that she cannot move reflects the oppressiveness that he will bring to her life. By placing this dream early on in the novel, Rhys suggests that Antoinette is destined to fall victim to the dominance of others from a young age.

"When he passes my door he says, 'Goodnight, Bertha.' He never calls me Antoinette now. He has found out it was my mother's name. 'I hope you will sleep well, Bertha’—it cannot be worse, I said." 

During the brief section that Antoinette narrates in Part Two, she explains to Christophine that Rochester refuses to call her by her name and instead refers to her as “Bertha.” This behavior represents his desire to restrict and even eliminate her identity, a desire fueled by the similarities he sees between Antoinette and her mother. Although calling her Bertha is a less explicit act of oppression, Rochester’s decision to ignore her true identity serves as a precursor to his unwillingness to acknowledge her humanity.

"'Then why do you never come near me?' she said. 'Or kiss me, or talk to me. Why do you think I can bear it, what reason have you for treating me like that? Have you any reason?' 'Yes,' I said, 'I have a reason,' and added very softly, 'My God.'"

During Rochester’s discussion with Antoinette after visiting Daniel Cosway, she interrupts his thoughts to demand why he continually distances himself from her. This quotation offers a view of how Antoinette perceives his oppressive behavior, framing it primarily in terms of a lack of love. She may not be fully conscious of Rochester’s desire to reclaim control and escape from her altogether, but she feels the emotional effects of this pursuit as his romantic gestures begin to disappear. Antoinette’s growing isolation is the first step toward her eventual, literal entrapment.

"If she too says it, or weeps, I'll take her in my arms, my lunatic. She's mad but mine, mine. What will I care or gods or devils or for Fate itself. If she smiles or weeps or both. For me. Antoinetta - I can be gentle too. Hide your face. Hide yourself but in my arms. You'll soon see how gentle. My lunatic. My mad girl."

Rochester narrates these lines towards the end of Part Two, and the objectifying language that he uses to describe his wife reflects the height of his oppressive attitude toward her. Not only does he dehumanize Antoinette by declaring her mad, he claims her as his property. This perspective reinforces his sense of authority and control over her, putting her in a completely powerless position. Rochester’s language is also rather infantilizing, and this tone adds yet another layer to the ways in which he weakens Antoinette’s personal agency.

“I too can wait – for the day when she is only a memory to be avoided, locked away, and like all memories a legend. Or a lie…”

In the final pages of Part Two, Rochester offers this haunting description of how he hopes to one day view Antoinette. He expresses no hesitation regarding his decision to lock her away in the attic of Thornfield Hall, an act which physically represents a conquering of his wife, and he dreams of erasing her existence altogether. Rochester’s discussion of memories and lies also suggests that locking Antoinette away will give him complete control over the narrative of their relationship, allowing him to mold it however he pleases.