Cultural Assimilation and Migration in Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea


  • Naeemah Jawan Alrasheedi



Jean Rhys' novel, Wide Sargasso Sea, stands as a profound exploration of cultural assimilation and migration, set against the backdrop of the Caribbean during the 19th century. This literary work intricately dissects the lives of its central characters, Antoinette and Rochester, as they grapple with the intricate web of cultural and racial complexities prevailing in a colonial context. At the heart of this narrative lies Antoinette's relentless endeavor to find her place in a world characterized by the coexistence of European colonialism and the indigenous cultures of the Caribbean. Her identity becomes fragmented, and her quest for assimilation into the dominant European culture is met with fierce resistance and hostility, thereby emphasizing the broader thematic concern of cultural assimilation and the prevailing power dynamics intrinsic to colonial settings. The novel also underscores the role of place and environment in the configuration of cultural identity. The lush, enigmatic landscape of the Caribbean assumes the role of an active character, profoundly influencing the behaviors and attitudes of the protagonists. The characters' transitory movement between distinct cultural spheres accentuates the challenges associated with adaptation to new environments, while simultaneously accentuating the sense of displacement that frequently accompanies migration.




How to Cite

Naeemah Jawan Alrasheedi. (2023). Cultural Assimilation and Migration in Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea . Migration Letters, 20(S7), 268–276.