Antoinette – The daughter of ex-slave owners and the story’s principal character, based on the madwoman Bertha from Charlotte Bront”e’s gothic novel Jane Eyre. Antoinette is a sensitive and lonely young Creole girl who grows up with neither her mother’s love nor her peers’ companionship. In a convent school as a young woman, Antoinette becomes increasingly introspective and isolated, showing the early signs of her inherited emotional fragility. Her arranged marriage to an unsympathetic and controlling English gentleman exacerbates her condition and pushes her to fits of violence.
Eventually her husband brings her to England and locks her in his attic, assigning a servant woman to watch over her. Delusional and paranoid, Antoinette awakes from a vivid dream and sets out to burn down the house. Annette – Antoinette’s young and beautiful mother. Annette is the second wife first to Alexander Cosway and later to Mr. Mason… Annette shows signs of madness and melancholy in her daughter’s earliest recollections.
Often the subject of gossip, she feels abandoned, scared, and persecuted. After the fire, Mr. Mason leaves Annette in the care of a black couple who reportedly humiliate her and mock her condition. Annette dies when Antoinette is at the convent school. Rochester – Antoinette’s English husband who, though never named in the novel, narrates at least a third of the story.
Rochester, the youngest son of a wealthy Englishman, travels to the West Indies for financial independence, as his older brother will inherit his father’s estate. When Rochester arrives in Spanish Town he comes down with a fever almost immediately. He is pressured into marrying Antoinette, although he has only just met her and knows nothing of her family. He soon realizes the mistake he has made when he and Antoinette honeymoon on one of the Windward Islands. Eventually, they abandon the Caribbean lifestyle Rochester has come to abhor. They move back to England, where he locks his deranged wife in an upstairs garret.
Antionette is a young girl who is a daughter of an ex-slave owner. She lives at Coulibri Estates in Jamaica with her mother Annette, Pierre her handicap brother, and Christophine their servant. They aren't accepted in their neighborhood because they are white and used to own slaves. She only has one friend, Tia. Tia is the daughter of one of the servants. Tia turns against Antionette one day for ...
Christophine – A servant given to Annette as a wedding present by her first husband, Alexander Cosway. Christophine, like her mistress, comes from Martinique and is therefore treated as an outsider by the Jamaican servant women. A wise and ageless figure, Christophine is loyal to both Annette and her daughter, and she exercises an unspoken authority within the household. Christophine practices obeah, a Caribbean black magic, with which she tries to help Antoinette regain first her husband’s love and then her sanity. Top of Form 1 Mr.
Mason – One of the elegant English visitors who visits Antoinette’s mother at Coulibri Estate. Mr. Mason is a wealthy Englishman who comes to the West Indies to make money. Captivated by his second wife’s beauty, he intends to become even more prosperous by restoring Coulibri. He is confident in his authority to control the servants, believing them harmless and lazy and dismissing his wife’s fears of revolt. Mr.
Mason effectively abandons Annette and her daughter after the fire. Aunt Cora – The widow of a prosperous slave owner. Aunt Cora lives alone in Spanish Town. Unlike Antoinette’s own mother Annette, Cora nurtures and cares for Antoinette, and eventually enrolls her in a convent school. But eventually Cora, too, abandons Antoinette when she moves to England for a year. On her return, Cora tries to ensure Antoinette’s financial independence by giving her a silk pouch and two of her treasured rings.
Ill and in bed, Cora tells her niece that she does not trust Richard and that she fears that the Lord has forsaken them. Alexander Cosway – Antoinette’s deceased father. Alexander Cosway was a debased ex-slave owner known for fathering illegitimate children, squandering the family’s money, and drinking himself into a stupor. His family lived on Jamaica for several generations as detested plantation owners; according to his bastard child, Daniel, madness ran in their genes. By the time Mr. Cosway died, leaving his second wife and their two children on their own, the Emancipation Act had led to the ruin of his sugar plantation and the end of his fortune.
Compared to Cosway’s competitors, obviously this is a competitive advantage as Coway, one of Cosway’s competitors only specialized in one single kind of product in the market, which is water purifier. This has been enabled Cosway to target more market than Coway did. Secondly, the low price strategy that Cosway is currently applying also helps in expanding its market. By having sustainable ...
Amelie – A young half-caste servant who accompanies Antoinette and her husband to Granbois. The lovely and cunning Amelie snickers at her newlywed employers with a sort of knowing contempt, using her thinly veiled amusement to unsettle them. When Antoinette slaps Amelie for an impudent comment, Amelie slaps Antoinette back, calling her a “white cockroach” and smiling suggestively at her husband. Later, Amelie feeds and comforts Antoinette’s husband, then sleeps with him. When he offers Amelie a gift of money the following morning, she refuses it and announces that she is going to leave Massacre and go to Rio, where she will find rich, generous men. Sandi Cosway – One of Alexander Cosway’s bastard children.
Sandi helps his half-sister, Antoinette, when she is harassed on her way to school. Although Antoinette would like to call him “Cousin Sandi,” Mr. Mason scolds her for acknowledging her black relatives. According to Daniel Cosway, Sandi is “more handsome than any white man” and is well received by polite white society.
Daniel also suggests that Sandi and Antoinette were sexually involved as young children. Indeed, Antoinette’s fragmented memory of a goodbye kiss with Sandi supports this possibility that the two may have been intimate at some point. Daniel Cosway – Another of Alexander Cosway’s bastard children. Daniel writes a letter to Rochester that informs him of the madness that runs in Antoinette’s family. The half-white, half-black Daniel is a racially split counterpart to the culturally split Antoinette. Richard Mason – Mr.
Mason’s son by his first marriage. After studying for several years in the Barbados, Richard moves to Spanish Town, where he negotiates Antoinette’s marriage arrangements after his father’s death. He persuades the nameless English gentleman to marry his stepsister, offering him lb 30, 000 and rights over the girl’s inheritance. Later, Richard visits the couple in England and hardly recognizes Antoinette as the madwoman locked in the attic. She flies at him in a delusional rage, cutting him with a secretly obtained knife.
In the poem “My Ex-Husband” by Gabriel Spera the main character displays hate for her husband, which in time reveals her love for him. The hateful tone in the poem contributes to the fact that she dislikes her husband, but at the same time she is stuck in the past, which keeps her from moving on. The first two lines of the poem introduce us to the a picture of her ex husband: “Thats my ex-husband ...
Tia – Maillotte’s daughter and Antoinette’s only childhood friend. At the water pool, Tia betrays Antoinette by taking her pennies and stealing her clothes. Tia’s disloyalty manifests the allure and corrupting power of money in the text. Like Mr. Mason and Mr. Rochester, she appears to covet money more than a loving relationship, whether it be a childhood friendship or a marriage.
Pierre – Antoinette’s mentally and physically disabled younger brother. While not explicitly stated, it is suggested that Pierre’s illness is a result of inbreeding and physical decline in the Cosway family. When the house at Coulibri is set on fire, Pierre is trapped in his burning room for some time, and he dies soon after. Mr.
Luttrell – One of Annette Cosway’s only friends after the death of her husband. Mr. Luttrell lives at Nelson’s Rest, the estate that neighbors the Cosway home. Suffering financial hardship in the wake of the Emancipation Act, in sudden desperation he shoots his dog and swims out to sea, never to be seen again.
Distant relatives finally reclaim Mr. Luttrell’s abandoned estate. Baptiste – One of servants at Granbois, the overseer of the mansion. Baptiste is a dignified man of advanced age. Godfrey – One of the old Cosway servants who stays on after the master’s death. Godfrey is considered a greedy and untrustworthy “rascal,” at least in Annette’s view.
He makes constant allusions to death and damnation. Sass – One of the servants who has been at Coulibri for several years, ever since his mother abandoned him there as a child. Sass leaves the estate when Annette’s money runs out, but he returns when Mr. Mason arrives. Annette distrusts Sass, believing him to be greedy and self-serving. Grace Poole – A woman who answers an advertisement placed by Mrs.
Eff for a servant to look after the deranged Antoinette. Grace is promised twice as much as the other household servants as long as she keeps her mouth shut and guards Antoinette well. Sharing the same garret space with Antoinette, Grace drinks frequently, often falling asleep with the garret key in plain view of her captor and charge. Leah – The cook employed by Antoinette’s husband.
Immigration to the United States took place in 1962 from Ciudad Juarez Mexico. Members of the family consisted of a husband, a wife and two young boys ages one and four. The husband a skilled cobbler had a good grasp of the English language, although heavily accented. His knowledge of the language was centered around the necessity of business communication. Motivation for immigration was ...
Leah is one of only three servants who know about the woman in the attic. Mrs. Eff – An incarnation of Mrs. Fairfax and the head housekeeper at Thorn field Hall. While Mrs. Eff never appears in the novel, Grace mentions her in her conversation with Leah.
Mother St. Justine – The head instructor at the convent school. Mother St. Justine tells the girls about the lives of female saints, instructs them on manners and cleanliness, and teaches them how to be proper Christian ladies. Mannie – A groom. Mannie is one of the new servants who Mr.
Mason brings to Coulibri. Maillotte – Like Christophine, a black servant who distinguishes herself by not being Jamaican. Maillotte is Tia’s mother and Christophine’s only friend. Analysis of Major Characters Antoinette – The character of Antoinette derives from Charlotte Bront”e’s poignant and powerful depiction of a deranged Creole outcast in her gothic novel Jane Eyre.
Rhys creates a prehistory for Bronte’s character, tracing her development from a young solitary girl in Jamaica to a love-depraved lunatic in an English garret. By fleshing out Bront”e’s one-dimensional madwoman, Rhys enables us to sympathize with the mental and emotional decline of a human being. Antoinette is a far cry from the conventional female heroines of nineteenth- and even twentieth-century novels, who are often more rational and self-restrained (as is Jane Eyre herself).
In Antoinette, by contrast, we see the potential dangers of a wild imagination and an acute sensitivity. Her restlessness and instability seem to stem, in some part, from her inability to belong to any particular community. As a white Creole, she straddles the European world of her ancestors and the Caribbean culture into which she is born.
Left mainly to her own devices as a child, Antoinette turns inward, finding there a world that can be both peaceful and terrifying. In the first part of the novel we witness the development of a delicate child-one who finds refuge in the closed, isolated life of the convent. Her arranged marriage distresses her, and she tries to call it off, feeling instinctively that she will be hurt. Indeed, the marriage is a mismatch of culture and custom. She and her English husband, Mr. Rochester, fail to relate to one another; and her past deeds, specifically her childhood relationship with a half-caste brother sullies her husband’s view of her.
The aim of this essay is to explore the positions of Cristal, Phillipson and Reid and to consider how to address and how not to address the global language situation. There have been many different opinions expressed by academic linguistics as to weather the spread of one dominant language is an advantage or a disadvantage. Thus, this paper will present some of the main positive and negative ...
An exile within her own family, a “white cockroach” to her disdainful servants, and an oddity in the eyes of her own husband, Antoinette cannot find a peaceful place for herself. Going far beyond the pitying stance taken by Bronte, Rhys humanizes “Bertha’s” tragic condition, inviting the reader to explore Antoinette’s terror and anguish. Christophine – As a surrogate mother, Christophine introduces Antoinette to the black culture of the Caribbean and instills in her a sensitivity to nature and belief in the practices of obeah. Significantly, it is Christophine’s voice that opens the novel, as she explains Annette’s exclusion from Spanish Town society; Christophine is the voice of authority, the one who explains the world to Antoinette and explains Antoinette to the readers.
With her words gliding from a French patois to a Jamaican dialect and back into English, her command of language corresponds with the power of her words and her ability to invoke magic. She seems omniscient, intimately linked with the natural and tropical world and attuned to animal and human behavior. Christophine, much like Antoinette and her mother, is an outsider. Coming from Martinique, she dresses and speaks differently from the Jamaican blacks.
She is a servant, but, unlike the other black servants who live at Coulibri, she remains loyal to the Cosway women when the family’s fortunes dwindle-an alliance at which the other servants sneer. Like Antoinette and her mother, Christophine becomes the subject of cruel household gossip, although she still commands some household respect because of her knowledge of magic. A wedding present from the old Mr. Cosway to Annette Christophine is a com modified woman, but is still fiercely self-willed.
She provides a contrast to Annette in that she exercises complete independence from men and implicitly distrusts their motives. When Mr. Rochester arrives at Granbois, he immediately senses Christophine’s contempt, and he associates her with all that is perverse and foreign about his new Caribbean home and his indecipherable Creole wife. A threat to Rochester’s English privilege and male authority, Christophine calmly monitors his attempts to assert dominance.
Introduction One of the most fascinating aspects of words is that they all have a past. Some words in English, for example, can be shown to have been in place for more than 5000 years (P. Baldi, 1999). Ordinarily we pay little attention to the words we articulate; we concentrate instead on the meaning we intend to express and we are seldom conscious of how we express that meaning. Only if we make ...
She instructs Antoinette that “woman must have spunks to live in this wicked world.” Christophine adopts an increasingly assertive role in protecting Antoinette when Rochester begins to challenge his wife’s sanity. Ultimately, Christophine advises Antoinette to leave her increasingly cruel husband, citing her own independence as an example to emulate. Having had three children by three different fathers, Christophine remains unmarried, saying “I thank my God. I keep my money. I don’t give it to no worthless man.” Christophine’s final confrontation with Rochester establishes her as Antoinette’s more lucid spokeswoman.
Mr. Rochester – Mr. Rochester, Antoinette’s young husband, narrates more than a third of the novel, telling, in his own words, the story of Antoinette’s mental downfall. His arrival in Jamaica and his arranged marriage to Antoinette is prefigured in the first part of the novel by the appearance of Mr. Mason, another English aristocrat seeking his fortune through a Creole heiress. However, unlike Mason, Rochester remains nameless throughout the novel, referred to only as “that man” or “my husband.” In a novel in which naming is so important, Rochester’s anonymity underscores the implied authority of his account.
He is the nameless creator and, as a white man, his authority and privilege allow him to confer identity on others. For instance, he decides to rename his wife, calling her “Bertha” in an attempt to distance her from her lunatic mother, whose full name was Antoinette. Later, he takes away Antoinette’s voice along with her name, refusing to listen to her side of the story. As he continues to fragment her identity, he creates the new name of “Marionette,” a cruel joke that reflects Antoinette’s doll-like pliability.
He ultimately refashions Antoinette into a raving madwoman and treats her as a ghost. Having totally rejected his Creole wife and her native customs, Rochester exaggerates his own cool, logical, and distinctly English rationale; he asserts his total English control over the Caribbean landscape and people. Rochester’s narration in Part Two reveals that he and his estranged wife are actually more similar than dissimilar. Both characters are essentially orphans, abandoned by their family members to fend for themselves. As the youngest son, Rochester legally inherits nothing from his father, who already favors the older child. Antoinette, who was persistently neglected by her mother in favor of her brother, Pierre, receives an inheritance that is tainted, at best.
She is left with the burdens of a divided cultural identity, the hatred of the blacks, the contempt of the whites, and the responsibility of a dilapidated estate. Both Rochester and Antoinette struggle for some sense of place and identity, and enter the arranged marriage with apprehension and anxiety. Rhys creates further parallels between her two antagonists in their bouts with fever and their twinned experiences with dreamed or actual forests.