Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/49579
Title: “Mirror, mirror on the wall, am I female or am I not?” Intertextual dialogue through writing the female body in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea
Authors: Natasha St Clare Alvar
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: In Wide Sargasso Sea and Jane Eyre, both Rhys and Bronte emphasize the need for woman to write her own body, which is the source of her writing, and to express what masculine experience has always sought to suppress. Women writers must, as Helene Cixous says, “Write your self. Your body must be heard” (“Laugh” 880). It provides “a powerful alternative discourse” “that can bring down mountains of phallocentric delusion” and “recreate the world” (Jones 374). Caroll Smith-Rosenberg points out that “both through literal body language and through physical metaphor and image, the body provides a symbolic system through which individuals can discuss social realities too complex or conflicted to be spoken overtly” (268). For Wide Sargasso Sea and Jane Eyre, the texts become bodies, where language flows through the echoes between each text. The intertextual echoes from Rhys’ text create a space in Bronte’s Jane Eyre, a palimpsest that allows us to reread the text through the female body. Using Antoinette’s body as a text, Rhys uses the pain and suffering associated with her body to create a gap in the text of Jane Eyre. She intertextually refeeds us the violence in Wide Sargasso Sea through this gap into Jane Eyre.. Hence, in my essay, I hope to explore the ceaseless flow between the two novels, through the dialogue created between the texts and the critique on patriarchal discourse created through imagery, symbolism and style of the female body.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10356/49579
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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