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Names are identifying characteristics that influence how people see you and how you see yourself. Names are people’s identities, without them, loss of self and identity are inevitable. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys continues Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and the motif of names is present in both. Rhys uses it in a more complex and apparent way. Rhys uses names to convey the loss of identity in Antoinette and the invading anonymous character of, who we assume is, Mr. Rochester.
Changing your name, as in marriageor nicknames, can redefine you, but in Antoinette’s case, her redefinition is bad. She starts out as Antoinette Cosway, but through her mother’s marriage to Mr. Mason, and then her Marriage to Mr. Rochester her surname changes significantly. “If she had married Sandi Cosway, she would not have lost either of her names, for she and he carry the same familyname” (Drake 199). In changing her surname, she loses her connection to her family and this creates a loss of self. People are very connected to their family, Antoinette is no different. She views her family as a connection of herself and in losing her name she also loses her family. She is the sole survivor of her family and in losing her name she loses that connection to her parents. She is repeatedly compared to her …show more content…
“Names matter, like when he wouldn’t call me Antoinette, and I saw Antoinette drifting out the window with her scents, her pretty clothes and her looking glass” (Rhys 106-107). Being Antoinette was all she knew and when Mr Rochester decided to start calling her Bertha instead, Antoinette became lost and she didn’t know how to find herself within that. Being called a name that you don’t identify with is confusing and feels like an insult to someone’s identity. Antoinette’s name was a variation of her mother’s and in changing her name, she loses her connection to her

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