Written as a prequel to Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea follows the life of Antoinette Cosway from her tumultuous childhood in Jamaica following British emancipation, to her marriage, and subsequent descent into madness.
Below are some reading passages that we have hand picked to supplement this book. Be sure to read the passage summaries and our suggestions for instructional use.
Jane Eyre, published in 1897, is a novel written from the first-person perspective about a plain governess named Jane who falls in love with her employer, Mr. Edward Rochester.
In “The Danger of a Single Story,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie discusses the importance of not allowing one story to construct your understanding of the world.
Margaret Atwood (born 1939) is an award winning Canadian poet, novelist, and literary critic. In “Morning in the Burned House,” Atwood paints a dream-like picture through her use of symbolism and metaphor, describing a speaker who imagines her childhood as a burned house.
In “The Niger Expedition of 1841,” Mike Kubic discusses Britain's attempt to eradicate slavery by forming treaties with African chieftains along the Niger River.
This text provides an overview of arranged marriage today, including the cultural and historical trends that have influenced the practice.
Kate Chopin (1850-1904) was an American author and a forerunner of twentieth-century feminist writers. In this passage, a family makes a shocking discovery about a baby in this story about lineage and class in antebellum Louisiana.
In these excerpts from Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening, Edna Pontellier struggles with what is expected of her as a mother, a wife, and a woman.
In Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem “Sympathy,” Dunbar uses the experiences of a caged to bird to discuss the oppression of African Americans.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” is a groundbreaking short story from 1892 told through journal entries that chronicles a woman’s struggle in dealing with male physicians who will not take her illness seriously.
In the interview “Behind Closed Doors: ‘Colorism’ in the Caribbean,” Michel Martin discusses colorism in the Dominican Republic with Frances Robles.