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Wide Sargasso Sea

Jean Rhys

Part Two, Section Three

Summary Part Two, Section Three

Rochester's walk into the forest echoes Antoinette's recurring nightmare. Like his wife, he feels confused and alone as he enters the woods. The landscape comes to represent his interior world as he stumbles forward on a path that he does not recognize or understand, feeling watched on all sides and cruelly deceived. The small girl who screams and runs when she spots Rochester in the woods aggravates his feelings of isolation and strange alienation. He is a terror to women, who seem to recognize evil in him. Interestingly, Rochester's own mother is never mentioned; he seems totally uninitiated into the world of women. When Rochester returns to Granbois and finds Antoinette's room bolted, it is as though he is closed off from all sides. Reading the book about obeah practices only serves to increase Rochester's feelings of persecution. We later see that, in his lunatic wife, he unknowingly creates the sort of zombie that the obeah book discusses, practicing his own magic and depriving her of her essential spirit.