Current book: Wide Sargasso Sea
Pages read: 107-155
Still good. The same commentary from yesterday has continued to apply.
Antoinette discovers that Rochester has found out about her past and asks Christophine to help make him fall back in love with her, since Christophine's supposed to be an obeah (a witchdoctor, basically). Christophine tells her either to talk to Rochester or simply leave him and go elsewhere, but she does neither. Rochester punishes Antoinette for his discoveries about her past by ignoring her, calling her by a name not her own (Bertha, of course), and, eventually, flirting with one of the servants in her presence. The two have a confrontation in which it becomes clear that Rochester doesn't love her, won't start anytime soon, and, in fact, blames her for her psychological fragility. Christophine takes charge, after putting Antoinette to bed, and proceeds to read Rochester the riot act for marrying a girl he doesn't love purely for her money and then torturing her into misery.
I'm right in the middle of that riot act at the moment, and I have to say that Christophine is kind of my hero. She's acting, I think, as Jean Rhys's real voice in the matter, offering a modern and enlightened perspective on the treatment of women in general, and the possibilities that underlie stories of madwomen in earlier times. She's pointing out that women who were once locked away and regarded as insane may simply have been too progressive for their own good or have been driven to madness by the circumstances forced upon them. It's an impassioned and convincing argument presented through a compelling story and characters. I can't really ask for more.
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