Christophine and Tia ‘The ‘other’ that Antoinette desires to be’ – Wide Sargasso Sea.

I’m going to begin the lesson with a quick recap from last week – This will be on the board as the students arrive – they will have a couple of minutes and then be ready to respond to questions.

  • Define fatalism?
  • Name the three people who narrate the novel?
  • When was the novel published?
  • Define creole.
  • What three themes are evident in the opening pages?
  • When was the emancipation act?
  • What does the garden represent?

Develop: Christophine – What do we know about her? – Brainstorm. Read the description of her aloud. Discuss how and why she is different to the other black women in the novel.

Christophine is situated as an outsider in society immediately upon her introduction in the novel.

Find some quotations that show this.

Antagonist “This is a free country and I am a free woman”

Christophine asserts herself as an articulate antagonist of patriarchal and imperialist law.” Benita Parry (AO5 and AO3)

Character Development – Pair work to consolidate knowledge.

1. How would you describe the relationship between Christophine and Antoinette? Is there any evidence to suggest that she loves her?

2. How does Rochester view Christophine? How does she make him feel vulnerable? (consider AO3 context here) Find some evidence to support this?

We are then going to move on to Tia and the complexity of that relationship:

We will read the fire description on page 24 and then consider some critical theory (AO5)Lee Erwin – ‘Like in a looking glass’ (1989)

“The ruling desire of Antoinette’s narrative is for a fantasised union with blackness which will enable her to occupy the place of the other”

“the history of slavery that she strives to repress is precisely what Rochester strives to recover”

  • In what ways does Antoinette’s description of Tia throwing the stone match her feelings of internal pain at this time? Why does she leave out a description of the physical pain?
  • Why does Rhys use the phrase ‘like a looking-glass’ to describe Antoinette and Tia looking at one another?
  • What is the significance that Antoinette’s last detail of Coulibri is this confrontation with her former friend?





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