The Thematic Significance Of The Floral Images In Essay

This essay has a total of 456 words and 5 pages.

The Thematic Significance Of The Floral Images In Wide Sargasso Sea.

Wide Sargasso Sea is the story of Antoinette Cosway, a Creole heiress who grew up in the
West Indies on a decaying plantation. When she comes of age she is married off to an
Englishman, and he takes her away from the only place she has known--a house with a garden
where "the paths were overgrown and a smell of dead flowers mixed with the fresh living
smell. Underneath the tree ferns, tall as forest tree ferns, the light was green. Orchids
flourished out of reach or for some reason not to be touched."(p.16).

Floral Images are central to the theme in the novel Wide Sargasso Sea. They are present
throughout the entire novel and also have an effect on the atmosphere. There are several

The first and most prominent floral image in the novel is of the garden at Coulibri, "But
it had gone wild. The paths were overgrown and a smell of dead flowers mixed with the
fresh living smell." (p.16). Antoinette describes the garden as being full of life but now
everything is dead, this symbolizes something that is beautiful but gone back or is not
going to last long. The garden is also compared to the garden of Eden, "Our garden was
large and beautiful as that garden in the Bible-the tree of life grew there"(p.16). When
she refers to the "tree of life growing there" it is as though she is looking back and
relating to the former slave owners. She also says "The scent was very sweet and strong. I
never went near it."(p.16). This excerpt is symbolizing her constant fear to ever be close
to giving love.

Another floral image is that of pink roses, "There where two pink roses…touched it the
petals dropped."(p.72), "have all beautiful things sad destinies."(p.72). These quotes are
referring that Antoinette is beautiful like her mother but look at their destinies.

Another image is that of a falling flower, "One morning a small flower fell…looked like
snow."(p.53). In other words the flower was too fragile to resist the wind like Antoinette
who is too fragile to receive forces against her or fight challenges of her environment.

The many floral images in this novel reflect changes in mood, signify hope and security
and are used to reflect state of mind. They also indicate neglect and violence in her
marriage and many other aspects of the novel.

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