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The Concept of Pastoral in Wide Sargaso Sea: An analysis of identity, displacement, return and escape in Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay will attempt to show how the pastoral ambiguity is portrayed in Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea. The essay will argue that the pastoral is presented through the characters’ idealisation of the former colonised respectively colonising cultures and countries. This is done by focusing on four recurring themes in the concept of pastoral, namely identity, displacement, refuge and return. Moreover, the essay claims that the ambiguity of the pastoral is strengthened by the symbolism and imagery used in the novel.  The theoretical framework is mostly represented from Huggan and Tiffin’s work Postcolonial ecocriticism: literature, animals, environment and Gifford’s Pastoral. The former discusses the concept of pastoral and postcolonialism in terms of the aforementioned themes and the latter discusses the concept of pastoral. The conclusions drawn from the analysis are firstly that the protagonists in the novel represent the four themes of identity, displacement, refuge and return. Secondly, although Rhys shows both the pastoral and the antipastoral sides of the pastoral concept, she clearly conveys her standpoint of the traditional pastoral concept of idealising the rural area by ending the book with a return to the former colonised retreat of Coulibri.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 26 p.
National Category
Languages and Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-27600OAI: diva2:637433
Subject / course
Educational program
Lärarprogrammet, inriktning mot verksamhet i grundskolans senare år och gymnasiet
2013-06-12, F3027, Universitetsplatsen 1, Växjö, 10:18 (English)
Available from: 2013-11-12 Created: 2013-07-18 Last updated: 2013-11-12Bibliographically approved

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