Unadmitted Sisters

“ I lie beside my sisters in the darkness, who pass me in the street unacknowledged and unadmitted. How much of this is the pretense of self-rejection that became an immovable protective mask, how much the programmed hate that we were fed to keep ourselves a part, apart?” (Lorde, 58).

It seems that the most obvious revelation within this passage would be the seemingly accepted, as Audre would put, woman-oriented womanhood. That is to say, this statement is most discernibly about what one may modernly refer to as closeted lesbian women. However, to assume that these women would identify as such is brought into question in this passage. The narrator not only hints at the somewhat secret relationships, she points to a complete negation of their existence. It could be said that the moments moving between lying side by side and passing unacknowledged is done via the protective mask that became self-rejection. Although the narrator states that this mask is the pretense of self-rejection with hints of self-administered, programmed hate, it would seem that because of the autonomous nature of all these things, the pretense is invalidated at its onset. The mask was constructed out of the lie of self-rejection which then became all too necessary and is this passage it is questioned whether this make-believe self-hate is actually the wolf in sheep’s clothing. In other words, the narrator questions how much truth is bound up in this act that became a means of survival.

Yet, this context of this passage calls the identity of the “sisters” into question. Although, it has been read above as a moment of lesbo-eroticism, the passage would have an entirely different connotation if the sisters were indeed the narrators biological sisters. Then the trajectory of lying beside one another in darkness to passing unacknowledged would be a bit muddled. There would no longer be a question of hidden sexuality rather there would be a moment of self-hate shrouded in racism and colorism. The darkness would then become two-fold: darkness of skin color and darkness in terms of visibility. Given that the narrator repeatedly stated her literal sleeping arrangements as always separate from her sisters than the possibility of the literal lying beside could be negated. The unadmitted unacknowledgement would then be cast as a self-inflicted dissociation and dissolution of the family. Moreover, it could be each sisters’ dissolution of themselves in that they are refusing to admit their darkness exists in the act of ignoring the narrator. Thus, the question of pretense becomes one that points to the fact that these three girls attended a predominantly white school and the act of hating their own skin became a tactic of self-preservation. Additionally, the programmed hate would then be referencing the systematic ways that blacks were casted as inferior and base/benal non-human entities. The narrator points out the ways in which blacks were taught to hate themselves and everyone who looked like them which leaves the narrator questioning to what extent is this negation done out of necessity and what part is done subconsciously. The passage speaks to the need to segregate oneself from the race as one that begins as just pretend-make-believe that becomes mastered and the mask becomes fixed. It is immovable because to do so would no longer be a removal of a covering, it would be the removal of one’s skin. In both readings of this passage it could be said that now there would be no clothing for the wolf to remove; the wolf has become the sheep.

The Branded as Erotic

“We were The Branded, the Lunatic Fringe, proud of our outrageousness and our madness, our bizarre-colored inks and quill pens. We learned how to mock the straight set, and how to cultivate our group paranoia into an instinct for self-protection that always stopped our shenanigans just short of expulsion. We wrote obscure poetry and cherished our strangeness as the spoils of default, and in the process we learned that pain and rejection hurt, but that they weren’t fatal, and that they could be useful since they couldn’t be avoided. We learned that not feeling at all was worse than hurting. At that time, suffering was clearly what we did best. We became The Branded because we learned how to make a virtue out of it” (82).


In Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, Audre Lorde provides her life story in the format of a biomythography. Throughout this account of her life seemingly non-erotic scenes can be read as erotic if analyzed through the lens of Lorde’s essay “Uses of the Erotic”. One such instance is the description Lorde provides of her friend group – “The Branded”.

This group of young women were Lorde’s lifeline in high school (despite the racism she faced within the group). As a member of this group that Lorde describes as “sisterhood of rebels” there is evidence of Lorde’s definition of erotic at play (81). Although Lorde insists that the erotic is not only for women, she is explicit about its “feminine” nature, making it important that it is with this group of young women that she begins to find the power of the erotic within herself.

Other than “The Branded”, Lorde also calls her group of friends the “Lunatic Fringe”. This terminology is important because it suggests two things, that they are crazy and on the outside of society. In her essay Lorde makes it clear that the erotic is not recognized by society and utilized to suppress women. Lorde figuring her friends as “Lunatic Fringe” places them in an erotic space because they are non-conforming to society. Hetero-patriarchal society makes a claim that the erotic is not useful, and should be suppressed, but Lorde and her friends make it into their power. Moreover, they “mock the straight set” which alludes to the queerness of their group and the way they figure themselves outside of the male gaze (82). The erotic is for self-empowerment, and “The Branded” empowered themselves by configuring themselves away from the way in which society expected young women to behave.

Another collection of words that are of importance in the way that Lorde describes “The Branded” include “outrageousness and our madness” as well as “our shenanigans” (82). In her essay Lorde discusses the origins of the word erotic, as “born of Chaos” (56). The detailed way that Lorde chooses to describe her and her friends seem negative, without the proper lens. However, using her essay to decode it I found that they coincide with the origins of erotic. Their group carried among them the very essence and origin of erotic in their behavior.

Lorde also discusses the erotic as an expression of creativity. In this group the girls “wrote obscure poetry”. The girls tapped into a creative outlet, which is required to tap into the power of the erotic. Furthermore, the erotic is about getting in touch with one’s deep feelings. The feeling that Lorde expounds the most on in her essay is joy, contrastingly it is suffering that brings together “The Branded”. They recognized that feelings were in fact “useful” and “not feeling at all was worse than hurting”. Opposed to society, they placed a value on their emotions.

The erotic is a very important component of Lorde’s work. Utilizing her essay “Uses of the Erotic” to analyze her friend group “The Branded” made it clear just how powerful the erotic can be even for young women at a young age. The erotic was important in this instance to bring together women as well as to allow them to express themselves outside of a society that rejected them.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Book Reading & Signing

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie read from the first ten pages of her newest novel Americanah and answered several questions at the Literacy Lives event at First Baptist Decatur Church. In the first few pages that she read subjects such as race, class, desire, and body image were introduced. Adichie’s female protagonist Ifemelu discusses these issues in blog form which is interesting since this is an avenue our class is using to discuss similar issues. It appears blogging is becoming more and more important to the way that the message of Black feminism and those who once felt voiceless are able to be told. It seems new age, but I think there is an element of blogging that should be considered when we talk about desire. In this age of technology, those who are underprivileged and desired to have a say in society but were not allowed access to any sort of platform may find blogging of incredible use. Adichie having Ifemelu be a blogger is a statement on how our society is shifting and the value we place on words is being manifested very different from what we have seen before (not in journals, books, newspapers). There are several blogs that are taken as sources of truth and knowledge, which I know is not always a good thing but, it is allowing the experiences of the underprivileged to be validated in a new way.

The greatest desire that is talked about in Americanah and the audience got to experience a taste of was Ifemelu wanting to return to Nigeria after being in the states for thirteen years and hopefully rekindling with her first love Obinze. Adichie giving Ifemelu a desire to return to her home country and her first love intertwines the different types of desire we feel to belong. The desire to belong is not specific to the diaspora, but in the context of the diaspora one may feel they have to alter themselves and their cultural identity to be accepted in different circles of people. It may have been that Ifemelu found herself changing who she was and not liking the person she was becoming, thus rekindling a desire for home. Home where you are (supposed to be) accepted as you are.

More than belong, Ifemelu longed to settle down, Adichie writes “Nigeria became where she was supposed to be, the only place she could sink her roots in without the constant urge to tug them out and shake off the soil” (7). In class we have discussed rhizome roots in relation to identity. Rhizome roots which are not linear and shoot out in various different directions, symbolizing that those belonging to the diaspora have an identity connected to a network of different things. The way in which Adichie discusses roots does not lead me to believe she would have disagreed with the idea of identity being like rhizome roots, but that the main root must be in good soil. Identity is a process, living in different places and making new connections alters one’s identity, but our identity still has to take root someplace. This passage for me also represented the importance of lifting up the root and placing it elsewhere if necessary, it is okay to alter the setup of the network.

Samantha Jacques (Blog 2)

“I do understand. You are usually reluctant to start, but after a while you give in. You seem to enjoy it” (196)

In Edwidge Danticat’s Breath, Eyes, Memory the sexual desires of the Caco women, Martine, Tante Atie, and Sophie, are haunted by testing for purity and rape. Sophie and her mother specifically mirror each other, or are Marassa, in their inability to have sex comfortably. Sophie and Martine’s sexual history are similar in the sense that they have both been sexually violated and feel pressure to sexually satisfy the men in their life to keep their companionship.

Martine and Sophie’s lack of desire comes from the same place of having their sexual experience tainted. Martine’s sexual experience is tainted by a rape that she has relived every night due to continuous nightmares. Sophie’s sexual experience is tainted by the testing she had to go through at her mother’s hand. Sex is not enjoyable for them because it is linked to an emotionally damaging event. Even though the women do not desire sex, they desire companionship. Cultural pressures have led them to the belief that to maintain the companionship of the men in their lives they must provide them with sex. They feel so obligated to provide sex to their male companions and are so desperate to keep them in their lives they suffer through sex. In the midst of their pretending the men in their lives are blindly naïve and hopeful that the sex is actually enjoyable.

When Sophie returns from Haiti and is questioned by her husband, Joseph, why she left she is blunt about the fact that they were not “connecting physically”. Joseph does not realize that he is not understanding Sophie’s inhibitions towards sex at all when he counters that she seems to “enjoy it”. Moreover, rather than being sympathetic, through his eyes the situation is overdramatic and comical. He wears a thick robe to bed rather than regular pajamas. For Joseph, this is a grand gesture, this is his way of exemplifying that he is understanding. If they were to touch Joseph claims that he would not be able to resist Sophie and this is the best way to police his behavior. However, were Joseph were truly able to understand Sophie’s feelings he would understand them not having sex is bigger than the issue of desire. It is an issue of psychological damage and sexual exploitation. Joseph not only lacks an understanding of the mental duress that Sophie is under but, also the larger implications of what sex is. For Joseph, sex is only an expression of desire and skin contact. For Sophie, sex is attached to guilt, shame, and humiliation.

Martine’s lover Marc is similar to Joseph in his lack of true understanding. Marc is aware of the nightmares that Martine faces yet engages in sex with her anyway. Moreover, he wants for Martine to have the child that she is carrying. Martine’s pregnancy for Marc seems to be about his desires for a child rather being able to comprehend the implications it will have on her health, and ultimately her life. Similar to the story that Grandma Ifé told about the man wanting a virgin bride so badly he mistakenly kills her, Marc desperately wanted a child and in the end also lost his lover.

Danticat expresses the cultural expectations of men and women in the relations between Sophie and Joseph as well as Martine and Marc. Their relationships both include women who are willing to suffer in silence for the sake of keeping a man who is clueless to their own needs. Additionally, she highlights different types of desire. Desire is not only an expression of sexuality. It is about companionship and intimacy beyond just the act of sex.


“‘Why don’t you just marry him?’ ‘Because you don’t marry someone to escape something that’s inside your head'” (192).

When it is revealed that Sophie’s mother is pregnant for the second time with Marc, the mother-daughter dynamic is reversed. Sophie ends up taking the role of a mother figure for her own mother by comforting her as well as questioning her rather impulsive behavior. Because of the sensitivity and irony of the issue, Sophie is exposed to a lot of information regarding her mother’s relationship to sexuality and other deep-seated aspects of her psyche that she would not have otherwise had the opportunity of knowing. This quote is particularly telling of the mother’s psychological state, and also creates a strong parallel between Sophie and her mother’s struggles with sexuality and desire. For both Sophie and her mother, it seems that physical desire is often blocked or muddled by their respective desires of coming to terms with and overcoming distortions of sexuality dominated by haunting memories. Because of traumatic experiences with sexuality in their youth, Sophie and her mother have unconsciously woven since then a more abstract and distorted association with sexuality and desire, as the two are highly connected for them.

For Sophie’s mother, she is not even in a state of mind to be able to desire her unborn child or Marc as both of them are more like byproducts of her desire to escape her nightmares, which are tied to the rape that gave birth to Sophie. Because of the power of the memory of her rape, the mother’s perception of desire is controlled by a specter in her own unconscious. Even her relationship with Marc in its essence stems from her desire to have someone to wake her up from her nightmares. She regards it almost like a transaction in which she sleeps with him in return for him watching over her in her sleep. Once she realizes she is pregnant, she cannot help associating the baby in her stomach with the baby in her nightmares about the rape. She cannot possibly desire the baby when the nightmares resurface the unpleasant associations she has with pregnancy and sexuality. She knows she can’t desire marrying Marc when what she truly desires is to escape her own psyche and past. Ultimately, her desire to run away from the grip of her own unconscious mind overwhelms her to the point of her taking her own life.

Sophie also has a similar relationship with sexuality and desire as her mother. The idea of running away or escaping is a strong motif as well in Sophie’s story. She also has a relationship with Joseph that resembles more of a dutiful transaction than one of raw desire and passion. She considers sleeping with him as an act of bravery and duty that is what fundamentally keeps him by her side. She escapes to Haiti because she has the strong belief that she is undesirable due to her inability to physically enjoy sex. Her mental block regarding desire and sexuality manifests through her bulimia and her fear of abandonment. She has the added burden of desire being associated with her being a child born of rape, her detestation of having been tested, knowing that her mother tried to poison her before she was born, and at the end of the novel, her mother having committed suicide and homicide of her own child. Her relation with desire and sexuality is heavily abstracted because of all the layers of experiences in her life that makes her simultaneously want to run away from her own psyche and desperately want to desire and be desired.

Blog Post 2

“According to Tante Atie, each finger had a purpose. IT was the way she had been taught to prepare herself to become a woman. Mothering. Boiling. Loving. Baking. Nursing. Frying. Healing. Washing. Ironing. Scrubbing. It wasn’t her fault, she said. Her ten fingers had been named for her even before she was born. Sometimes, she even wished she had six fingers on each hand so she could have two left for herself.” (pg. 153)


In this section, Sophie is preparing a meal for Tante Atie and Grandma Ife. Since Sophie left Haiti, Tante Atie has changed a great deal. She has made some improvements like learning her letters and writing poetry, but she has also begun to show some alcoholic tendencies and escapes in the night (the most dangerous time of the day) to go to her “lessons” with Louise. Here, we implicitly see one of Tante Atie’s desires: to break away from gendered duties and have something for herself. Throughout this section of the novel, we sense that Tante Atie feels stuck in the duties and expectations of being a woman and a daughter. She had to endure being tested as a girl (expected to be pure), and is expected to take care of Grandma Ife (being Grandma Ife’s only family member left in Haiti). Her desires are somewhat policed but not by Grandma Ife, which we would expect. Grandma Ife acknowledges that times are changing and is willing to let Tante Atie go because Atie is unhappy there. Instead, they are policed by societal expectations (or what she perceives as societal expectations). She believes she has to take care of Grandma Ife, despite their rough relationship.


This passage also demonstrates some expectations that Tante Atie desires, but has been unable to fulfill. The most important of these expectations is to be a mother. She raised Sophie like her own child yet was always mindful of the fact that Sophie has a real mother, even when Sophie calls Atie her mother. She is never quite the same since Sophie leaves, and is presumed to be in “mourning” of the loss of the only daughter she has ever known. Tante Atie also has an unfulfilled desire for love. Earlier in the novel, Danticat introduces Augustin, who we first see as a friend to Tante Atie. Later Martine reveals that Tante Atie was at one point in a relationship with Augustin, but Augustin changed his mind and decided to marry another woman.  This is one of the only stated relationships Tante Atie has had with a man thus far, and one of only three stated male/female relationships in the novel (which goes back to the idea of Danticat’s triangulation in character relationships). We do not know the true nature of Tante Atie’s friendship with Louise, but Danticat, at times, hints to their friendship taking on a sexual nature (“…we are like lips and tongue.” – Louise). Perhaps their friendship has developed this nature because of Atie’s lack of a sexual relationship with a man. We can also look at Tante Atie’s lack of love in regards to family. She has no father figure, as Sophie’s grandfather is nonexistent at this point. Martine has been gone from Haiti for the majority of Sophie’s life, so her love is arguably barely present despite her sending packages through the years.. The only family member left is Grandma Ife. The two have a strained relationship, evident in their arguments and Ife’s disapproval of Atie’s lifestyle.


‘Ou libéré?

“… ‘Ou libéré? Are you free, my daughter?” (234).

The simplest answer to that question might be “No, I am not”, yet to answer to the question at all would be overwhelmingly problematic. The true answer may in fact be “I do not know, but I pray to the heavens that I am”. At least, one can say that the uncertainty that any answer can be given is uniquely Sophie’s evident in her incapacity to respond. Throughout the novel Breath, Eyes, Memory Edwidge Danticat weaves the multifaceted and epidemic tale of family bound through inherited pain and desire. In fact, it could be said that the most prominent feature of this novel is to be free from pain.
Strikingly, this short phrase is written in creole and then translated to english demonstrating the warring dichotomy within the family as well within Sophie and her mother Martine. The phrase reveals the dual beings present within the two women. Both have exuded an intense desire to break away from the agonizing traditions of their Haitian heritage while not wholly assimilating to American or Western societal demands. The question presents itself ironically; in this case asking for a concept of freedom within a trapped language. That is to say, that while one asks for liberation you do so already acknowledging that you cannot ask for freedom without simultaneously ascertaining that your tongue cannot. It is as if you are asking if you have been freed while your tongue is tied. In a sense, the question speaks in tongue twisters.
Moreover, the phrase begs the question of from what is she trying to be free. On one hand, one can simply say maleficent traditions of her heritage that have left her psychologically wounded even after all physical scars have healed. On the other hand, one could say she’s trying to break away from an inherent part of herself. For Sophie, it becomes a question of being free from her own essence; a splitting of her existence. She was created, born, and raised in pain and gave birth to her own daughter through pain, yet she desires to be from it. Perhaps, unlike in the case of Martine, it is possible for Sophie to do so only because her mother passed. It causes one to wonder why death means liberation for the living and not those deceased. It could be said that Martine was the physicality of Sophie’s pain and through her death, Sophie’s agonizing essence died with her. That is to say, if one were two imagine it as a two-way road that suddenly becomes a one-way, the road does not become useless but becomes specifically altered. The road is now able to manage how much and in what way things pass over it. It is no longer succumbing to the comings and goings of others yet it decides whether they are coming or going. Sophie, at the moment of her mother’s death, decides whether her inherited pain is coming or going.
The truth remains that the question remains one that is unanswerable, moreover, unanswered in the novel. Its clarity exists in a paradoxical nature and causes one to think as such. It is a question and an answer but in the same breath is not either. Asking “are you free” insists that there is something to be free from but how do you know what that is, especially if you are unaware that you are trapped in the first place? Perhaps, Martine never knew that her mother’s death was her only salvation and perhaps Sophie never knew it was her mother that was trapping her until she was asked the question. In the end it really makes one consider if its really a question of being liberated or realizing that the question existed.

The Other

“As for the happiness I gave her, that was worse than nothing. I did not love her. I was thirsty for her, but that is not love. I felt very little tenderness for her, she was a stranger to me, a stranger who did not think or feel as I did” (Rhys 55).


There are several instances in Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys, in which the Englishman who will soon marry Antoinette, the white Creole protagonist, is in cognitive dissonance regarding her displaced identity as a white European raised in the Carribean. He describes how he merely plays a part in the romancing of Antoinette. He has a firm understanding of his role as well as Antoinette’s empty relation to him, but all his thoughts are self-contained and deeply internalized:

She never had anything to do with me at all. Every movement I made was an effort of will and sometimes I wondered that no one noticed this. I would listen to my own voice and marvel at it, calm, correct but toneless, surely. But I must have given a faultless performance. If I saw an expression of doubt or curiosity it was on a black face not a white one.” (45)

He clearly has made a representation of Antoinette outside of his own inner reality and from that forceful rupture, is merely going through the motions of a lover. He “understands” her mere traces of human affectations only through her “black face.” He has internally displaced her out of his realm of “love” and finds it perfectly apt to merely treat her as a character in his performance of a self-created and false reality. He merely sees Antoinette as an accessory and means of sorts for the sake of his own “thirst.” In his mind, he is allowed to do this because of the fact of her identity and all the social connotations associated with it. Antoinette can intuitively sense this robbing of her “self” by her lack of trust in him and even pointing out directly to him that he doesn’t know anything about her. She can sense the distance and artificiality of her relation to him even when he reassures her with loving words.

In his essay, “Cultural Identity and Diaspora,” Stuart Hall explains the traumatic nature of “the colonial experience” (225) as the way in which black experiences were under the dominant powers of representation not only in an explicit manner but by their ability to make black people see and experience themselves as “Other.” He explains that they subjected them to specific categories of knowledge, but even worse by an internal rather than external manner. He explains, “It is quite another thing to subject them to that ‘knowledge’, not only as a matter of imposed will and domination, by the power of inner compulsion and subjective con-formation to the norm” (226). The Englishman clearly subjects Antoinette to this internalized power dynamic, without caring at all what that truly is doing to her and the consequences of his actions.

Identity Differences

“Creole of pure English descent she may be, but they are not English or European either” (Rhys 39).

In Stuart Hall’s “Cultural Identity and Diaspora” the themes of identity, diaspora, difference, and continuity are parallel with Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea. For Hall identity is “a production which is never complete” and can manifest itself in one of two ways. The first way identity can come about is by a “shared culture . . . a shared history and ancestry” or “a matter of  ‘becoming’ as well as of ‘being’”. The production of Bertha Antoinetta’s identity is convoluted between these two means of identification in that she is a white creole. Racially, historically, ancestrally she is European, but has been raised in the Caribbean. Her struggle with identity is present throughout Wide Sargasso Sea and is expressed in the difference between her and other characters.

Instances between Antoinetta and the male figures in the novel are most expressive of the difference that occurs with identification. Mr. Mason, Antoinetta’s stepfather, underestimates the hatred of the former slaves that inhabit the island and Antoinetta wishes to warn him “out here it is not at all like English people think it is” (Rhys 20). This makes it clear that there is a distinction in the way a European who was raised in Europe perceives a situation as opposed to a European raised in the Caribbean. Another example of this difference appears again between Antoinetta and Mr. Rochester, her husband from England, when he speaks of his wife he says “Creole of pure English descent she may be, but they are not English or European either” (Rhys 39). For Mr. Rochester they share an ancestral history but they are hardly relatable due to being raised on two different continents. 

Rhys portrays Antoinetta as a character who herself is constantly confused about who she is and where she belongs. Antoinetta says to her husband “It was a song about a white cockroach. That’s me. That’s what they call all of us who were here before their own people in Africa sold them to the slave traders. And I’ve heard English women call us white niggers. So between you I often wonder who I am and where is my country and where do I belong and why was I ever born at all” (Rhys 61).  This passage exemplifies how Rhys uses Antoinetta as a way to complicate what exactly makes up identity by raising issues not only of race, but socioeconomic status and geographical location. All of these factors are present even today as descendants of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and those affected by the Diaspora has persons questioning their identity.

Blog Post 1

“It was a song about a white cockroach. That’s me. That’s what they call all of us who were here before their own people in Africa sold them to the slave traders. And I’ve heard English women call us white niggers. So between you I often wonder who I am and where is my country and where do I belong and why was I ever born at all…” [pg. 61]

 In Wide Sargasso Sea, the protagonist Antoinette Mason is a Creole daughter of plantation owners. Growing up in Coulibri, Jamaica, she and her family faced discrimination from both the natives of Jamaica as well as other Whites living on the island. Although they are plantation owners, they are still considered “poor whites”, never quite seen as possessing equal status with the other Whites – a fact the natives are aware of and use against the Mason family. This is demonstrated in the violent climax of Part I, where a group of men burn the Mason home to the ground and try to prevent their escape.

In this passage, Antoinette explains her issues with identity and culture. She is rejected by both the natives and the people whom we expect her to identify with the most. Although her situation is different than that of the identity struggles outlined in Hall’s essay “Cultural Identity and Diaspora”, one can draw some parallels between her feelings and the feelings of those displaced by the slave trade. Hall calls Africa, which all slaves are descended from, the “missing aporia” – a sort of missing link in the chain of culture. Antoinette feels this to an extent – she is descended from English people, but still struggles with who she is (not quite English and not quite Jamaican or Martiniquan). He also mentions that culture and identity are not hardly defined, but are constantly changing entities; they have elements of the past, the present, as well as the future and “undergo constant transformation”. We begin to see how this affects Antoinette’s sense of identity in her brother’s letter to her husband. In his letter, he explains the dark past of her family – how they are cunning people, all afflicted with madness that was considered characteristic of Creole people. I can sense Antoinette trying to overcome her family’s past (especially her mother’s madness) but finds it difficult to completely forget and put things behind her.

Another parallel we can draw between the two texts is the comparison between Martinique and Jamaica, as well as its people. In Hall’s essay, Martinique is viewed as somewhat superior to Jamaica. It is richer, more fashionable, and people of mixed raced are considered “sophisticated”. Contrast this with Wide Sargasso Sea, where people from Martinique are considered strange in the way they talk and some of their other cultural practices. People of mixed race are not seen as sophisticated, but face some of the same rejection that Antoinette experiences. Not fully black and not fully white, they feel like they belong to neither group – a sentiment Antoinette’s brother also expresses in his letter to her husband.