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Antoinette the Outsider: The Representation of Hybridity and Mimicry in Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea

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This essay sets out to study the function of hybridity and mimicry in Jean Rhy’s acclaimed novel Wide Sargasso Sea drawing on Homi K. Bhabha’s theoretical framework in this regard. In this novel, Antoinette emerges as the “Other” who aims to prove herself to the “Centre”. Undergoing extreme sufferings, the heroine wistfully ponders mimicry as an impulse to break out of her mare’s nest and to establish herself within one culture. Indeed, unlike what Bhabha believes mimicry cannot upset the total authority of the “Centre”. Meanwhile, Antoinette used it as a result of her longings for the position of the “Centre” which she is unable to attain because of her hybrid existence. Countering Homi K. Bhabha’s central argument, this essay contends that Antoinette’s mimicry of Englishness fails to fend off the norms of the superior power, but partakes in celebrating the very ideals that Bhabah’s theory is trying to keep at bay.


International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 72)
S. Peimanfard and M. Hanif, "Antoinette the Outsider: The Representation of Hybridity and Mimicry in Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 72, pp. 15-20, 2016
Online since:
August 2016

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