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Descriptions and physical characteristics

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1 Descriptions and physical characteristics

2 The House: Rochester’s first descriptions show that he has a negative impression of Granbois: “an imitation of an English summer house” (pg.40 line 29) “a badly cut, coarse-grained lawn…a shabby white house” (pg.40 lines31-32) “more awkward than ugly” (pg.40 line 36) “large, unpainted room…small shabby sofa…” (pg.41 lines 35-36) “…rough lawn..” (pg.43 line 11). (It suggests ‘wildness’ – seen in his and Antoinette’s character too). “No chimney, but smoke was pouring out of the window” (pg.43 lines 15-16)

3 The pools: Rochester seems to find the pools a place of refuge, shown by the relaxing descriptions made: “champagne pool” (pg.51 line 19) “trees shading it, flowers that opened at night” (pg.52 lines 2-3) “a beautiful place – wild, untouched…secret loveliness” (pg.52 lines 5-6)

4 The Forest:  Rochester finds the forest hostile, he sees signs of black magic. “Nothing but the trees…green light…trees (pg. 64) “Round the ruins…incredible height” (pg. 64) “A beautiful place. And calm…” (pg. 64) “Little bunches of flowers tied with grass.” (pg.64) Reflection of green light under the trees (pg. 64) A track that leads to a ruined stone house (pg. 64) Wild orange tree and rose trees that grow around the house (pg. 64) Undergrowth and creepers that catch Rochester’s legs (pg. 64)

5 Antoinette visits Christophine:
·        “The sky…mango leaves” (pg. 67) ·        “Pink and red hibiscus…door” (pg. 67) ·        “Cool green leaves…summer.” (pg. 69) ·        “Fields of corn…tall.” (pg. 69) ·        “Chandeliers…roses and snow.” (pg. 69) ·        “They were in a red…gilt top.” (pg. 72) ·        “The sky…dressing table.” (pg. 72) ·        “Bright patchwork counterpane…” (pg. 73) ·        “Chicken feathers in one corner…” (pg. 73) ·        “A decanter…tray.” (pg. 80) “The handrail…ornamented iron.” (pg. 84)

6 Use of figurative language
and imagery

7 “…house seemed to shrink from the forest…crane eagerly out to the distant sea.” (pg. 40 lines 34-35). Personification – mirrors Rochester’s feelings of wanting to leave – across the sea to England “….more awkward than ugly, a little sad as if it knew it could not last.” (pg. 40 line 36). The personification again mirrors Rochester’s feelings of sadness – it also foreshadows their ‘relationship’ falling apart and them leaving (“could not last” – their happiness won’t be for ever). “Amelie brought out candles…the night swallowed up the feeble light.” (pg. 47 lines 17-18). ‘feeble’ suggests their love is weak – not strong yet between them. Personification of the night ‘swallowing’ the light symbolises that their passion/love won’t last there. “…pink roses…one was in full bloom and as I [Rochester] touched it the petals dropped.” (pg.51 lines 8-9). It’s a metaphor of how he will destroy Antoinette (represented by the rose).

8 “The forest. It is hostile.” Personification (pg. 64)
“What I see is nothing - I want what it hides – that is not nothing.” (pg. 52 lines 7-8). Personification of the area holing secrets from Rochester. It reflects his paranoid state of mind there. “…often raining when I woke during the night.” (pg.54 line 15). Pathetic fallacy – reflects his restlessness/unhappiness there. “…at night…always this talk of death…this is the secret of this place? She knows. She knows.” (pg.55 lines 14-16). Repetition and rhetorical question shows Rochester is suspicious of Antoinette and Granbois. ‘Night’ harbours their misgivings – pathetic fallacy?? Also night is when the bad things happen – especially at Thornfield later on. (Also seen when Rochester says it’s “at night that I felt danger…” page 56 line 8) “The forest. It is hostile.” Personification (pg. 64) “I was lost…enemy trees.” Personification (pg. 64) “It was as if…I had seen.” Simile (pg. 65) “They cry out…anger.” Personification (pg. 66)

9 “Fields of corn like sugar-cane fields.” Simile (pg. 69)
“White feathers falling?” Metaphor (snow) (pg. 69) “This cold thief place?” Metaphor (pg. 69) “Money have pretty face for everybody.” Personification (pg ) “Hard as a board…as a foot” simile (pg. 71/2) “Nothing but leaky…boy” Metaphor (pg. 73) “Nearby a cock crowed…” (symbolism of treachery) (pg. 74) “I see everything…stained-glass window.” Simile (pg. 74) “At the end it was curved like a question mark…” Simile (pg. 84) “But my heart…as lead.” Simile (pg.85) “But it was a dull thought…or context.” Simile (pg. 88)

10 Ways in which the physical descriptions
reflect the attitude or the state of mind of the narrator or reflect events in the novel

11 “…bird whistled, a long sad note…a very lonely sound. ” (pg
“…bird whistled, a long sad note…a very lonely sound.” (pg.40 lines 1-3) “lonely” = pathetic fallacy – it reflects the mood of Rochester. cold, pure and sweet…” (pg.40 lines18-19) It reflects the attitude of Rochester to Antoinette – for the first time he feels at ease with her as she gives him a drink. “…unreal and like a dream…” (pg.47 line 14). It reflects the attitude/state of mind of Rochester – doesn’t like/trust/believe in Granbois. “…a full moon that night…it was very bad to sleep in the moonlight when the moon is full.” (pg.48 lines 32-36). The event suggests Antoinette’s unstable mind “…the champagne pool…has a waterfall” and “….the nutmeg pool…brown and shaded by a big nutmeg tree.” (pg. 51 lines 19-22). It could represent Rochester’s changing moods: happy with Antoinette yet (later) stifling and restrictive. (Or it could show his calmness at times?) “…alien moon…” (pg.53 line3). Shows Rochester is still uneasy and feels unwelcome at Granbois.

12 “…the forest. It is hostile. ” (pg. 64 line 2)
“…the forest. It is hostile.” (pg. 64 line 2). Personification of the forest highlights his feelings of being unwelcome there reflect his feelings for the whole place – he has a very negative and unforgiving attitude. “…ruins of a stone house…wild orange tree covered with fruit…so calm it seemed foolish to think or plan.” (pg.64 lines 15-18). Rochester’s sudden change in feelings/mood represents his confusion about the situation and what to do about Antoinette. “lost and afraid among these enemy trees.” (pg.64 lines 33-34). Highlights his unstable state of mind and his unhappiness. Pages show Rochester in a restless state of mind. He had loved Granbois but is now finding it sinister. He sees signs of witchcraft (small bunches of flowers) in the forest and loses his way. When he returns to Granbois he reads a chapter about Obeah (black magic) which adds to his dislike of his surrounding and Antoinette.

13 Pages 66-74 Antoinette is the narrator and in a very agitated state
Pages Antoinette is the narrator and in a very agitated state. She visits Christophine and begs her to use witchcraft to make Rochester love her. She beats her fist on a stone in her desperation. Christophine finally gives in and hands over a love potion. This is a turning point in the novel because Rochester finally loses any feelings he had for Antoinette when he realises what has happened. Pages Rochester is the narrator. He and Antoinette have a long conversational discourse by candlelight on the veranda and at this point Rochester is still showing some affection for Antoinette as she describes the events of her childhood. When he realises the trick that Christophine and Antoinette have played on him any love he may have had turns to hate.

14 Ways in which the setting
relates to love

15 Between pages 40 and 64: “ is red here” (pg.40 line22). Red represents passions but also danger – foreshadows events to come (e.g. will feel love but also fear in Granbois). “…intoxicating sweetness” (pg.41 line 32). It suggests the place and Antoinette’s love is too much for Rochester/not good. “..candles on the table…the sideboard…the old sea-chest.” (pg.46 lines 18-19) and “flames burned straight” (pg.46 line 21). The candles and flame represents passion between Rochester and Antoinette. However, as they “burned straight” it suggests that it’s tame/restricted passion. “…moths and beetles…flew into the candles and fell dead…” (pg lines 33-1). It’s a metaphor of their (mainly Antoinette’s?) passion being dangerous – foreshadows that it won’t last and that their love will end up harming them. “More moths and beetles came.” (pg.47 line 2). This shows that the above is inevitable and that they will get hurt. “Amelie brought out candles…the night swallowed up the feeble light.” (pg. 47 lines 17-18). ‘feeble’ suggests their love is weak – not strong yet between them. Personification of the night ‘swallowing’ the light symbolises that their passion/love won’t last there.

16 “…large moth…blundered into one of the candles, put it out and fell to the floor…more stunned than hurt.” (pg. 47 lines 25-29). The moth represents difficulties faced in Granbois that will try and end/put out their passion (could foreshadow Cosway’s letter as that’s his intent). It’s a metaphor for their relationship – more evidence that they will get hurt. The sky: “paler blue...changing to a deeper blue…it would be gold, then brassy in the heat.” (pg.50 lines 5-7). The colours could represent their relationship up to this point in the novel – Rochester had no feelings for Antoinette at first (pale blue), but seems to be starting to love her – shown by the reddening sky – passion. “…turned away from the light and space and went back into the bedroom…still in the half dark” (pg.50 lines 8-9). Antoinette is in the darkness. It could symbolise Rochester’s feelings for her – away from her is good/light, where she is is bad/dark, suggesting he doesn’t love her – no passion. However it could be seen that he’s willing to give up the light to be with her. “…small flowers to fragile to resist the wind. They fell in a day…then were blown away.” (pg.51 lines 29-32). A metaphor of Antoinette’s love/life with Rochester – he’s too powerful (like the wind) and destroys her and her love of him. Her love for him isn’t enough.

17 “We watched the sky and the distant sea on fire…I soon tired with the display.” (pg.52-3 lines 33-1). It shows Rochester’s impatient mind – suggests his passion for Antoinette (or the time he stays trying to love her) won’t last – he’ll grow tired of her. It also reflects later events – the house on fire (Thornfield – across the sea – like the fire now is distant), and Antoinette locked away and forgotten. “little shallow pools of water glinted in the hot sun, red earth does not dry quickly.” (pg.57 lines 19-20). Red earth represents passion felt by Antoinette – it refuses to dry quickly = she refuses to stop trying to make him love her (?). The water could represent Rochester – Antoinette needs him but he doesn’t need her. “far too hot.” (pg.60 line 32). Rochester’s feelings for the place are becoming more negative – he crushes flowers that remind him of Antoinette – doesn’t love her or the area (foreshadows him crushing her spirit and leaving). “…red clay was very muddy.” (pg.63 line 28). Symbolises their chances of passion/love are ruined (by the letter?).

18 Between pages 64 and 88: The settings, the events and the feelings of the characters often reflect the theme of love. We already know that Rochester feels betrayed into a loveless marriage by his father and brother. He now believes the whisperings around him that Antoinette is mad like her mother. He notices more and more how the servants giggled behind their hand. “Hilda giggled. A nervous giggle.” Page 66. Different kinds of love are reflected: Antoinette loves Christophine like a mother. She loves the smell of her clean, cotton clothes “so warm and comforting to me.” She loves all the surroundings of Granbois, the beautiful mango trees, the blue sky, her soft silk mattress and fine sheets. “This is my place and this is where I belong and this is where I wish to stay.” The scene where Antoinette visits Christophine: She begs her to use magic to make Rochester love her again emphasises how hurt she is because Rochester no longer makes love to her.

19 Rochester still shows affection for Antoinette:
Seen as they sit and talk on the veranda at Granbois. When she shivers he gently places her yellow silk shawl around her shoulders. He tries to explain that Granbois may have caused his change of feeling “I feel very much a stranger here… on your side.” Antoinette retaliates by saying “I loved it because I had nothing else to love,” page 82. She was rejected by her mother. Antoinette describes all the misfortunes of her childhood. They drink rum together and Rochester kisses her saying “I wish to stay here in the dark…belong” page 87. He says he calls her Bertha because it is name he is particularly fond of and promises that he will go to her room to say goodnight. Jean Rhys has created a calm, relaxed atmosphere to the extent that Rochester now feels “I longed to bury my face in her hair as I used to do.”

20 Sadly, when he discovers that the magic powder was used he swears that “she need not have done what she did to me” page 87. The result is that any love has now turned to hate. He talks his vengeance in a lustful love scene with Amelie not caring that Antoinette overhears them. When Amelie leaves saying, “I am sorry for you…to feel sorry for her too,” the reader is left with the same feeling page 90.

21 Pages 88-113 are from Rochester’s point of view
Pages are from Rochester’s point of view. It is from the scene where Rochester believes he has been poisoned all the way to when he takes Antoinette to England. He was almost convinced by Christophine to take Antoinette’s money and go back to England until Christophine mocked Rochester and told him that Antoinette may re-marry. This sparked jealousy in Rochester. This chapter is rich in metaphors. The physical descriptions even symbolise something on a metaphorical level.

22 “Fishermen and sailors on the bayside” p101 L13-14
This is said by Christophine – that Antoinette ran away to these fishermen. It shows how unstable Antoinette was as a child. It also implies that as beautiful as Granbois and the island is it still has dangers – as sailors were considered dangerous and foul-mouthed. “It’s cool today; cool, calm and cloudy as an English summer. But a lovely place in any weather, however far I travel I’ll never see a lovelier” P107 L2-3 Although is this a physical description it can also be a metaphor for Antoinette’s beauty as Granbois represents Antoinette. It could be pathetic fallacy, that Antoinette was not enough for Rochester because she wasn’t English and that Rochester is trying to instil English values into he. P107 L5-10 “Some of the royal palms stand (she told me). Stripped of their branches, like tall brown pillars, still they stand – defiant. Not for nothing are they called royal. The bamboos take an easier way. They bend to the contemptuous wing passes, not caring for these abject things. (let them live.) Howling, shrieking, laughing the wild blast passes” This shows Rochester wants Antoinette to break like the bamboos and that even the wind is evil here. It also shows how stubborn Mr. Rochester is. So although this is a physical description – it has significant meaning metaphorically. “(I give her) fruit I pick from my own trees” L19, page This shows the lengths that Christophine will go for Antoinette. “saw that tree strike its room deeper, making ready to fight the wind.” Rochester has succeeded in breaking Antoinette’s spirit but nonetheless she is still a ‘fighter’.

23 “I found the room oppressively hot” P 93 L 21 This whole quote could suggest that Rochester’s passion is oppressive and is suffocating. It does show that Rochester in uncomfortable. “waited in half-darkness” L22 This is after the last quote. It’s when Rochester blows out the candles showing that Rochester in the dark about where is wife has been ands imply the whole of Granbois is now regarding Rochester as an evil. “breeze was so cold” L5-6 p88 This implies that Rochester doesn’t feel safe in Granbois. Even the breeze ‘hates’ him and is ‘cold towards him’ “blanket which was a particular shade of yellow” L15 p 88 Rochester says this before he vomits which implies that he already suspects Antoinette, even when he hasn’t said anything to the reader. “Sun, sleep and the cool water of the river were enough” p9l L27-28 The alliteration reinforces the idea of Rochester preferring to be alone. It also shows that Rochester does find the island to be a small paradise. veranda hammocks under the ceder trees” p91 L23-24 “The room was now unbearably hot”p94 L 35 Again, the heat suggests Rochester’s passion is suffocating “half-hour after the sunset, the blue half-hour I called it to myself. The wind drops, the light is very beautiful, the mountains sharp, every leaf on every tree is clear and distinct” p92 L18-20 Again this shows that Rochester does finally believe to be in a paradise. It can show how cold Rochester is as well because he only finds joy in the island when Antoinette is gone. “The smell filled the room” P96 L3 (smell of rum) I personally don’t know about the smell of rum but I imagine it to stink as it usually associated with pirates and pirates are connotated as dirty, stinky, foul and slimy creatures. The rum could imply the foul words exchanged between Antoinette and Rochester

24 “I stumbled back into the big candlelit room which still smelt strongly of rum” L3-4 P97. The smell of rum still there implies that Antoinette’s words have really settled deep in his unconsciousness. The verb ‘stumble’ shows that Rochester has very little power. “Large, unfurnished room with candles flickering” p96 L9-10 This where Rochester retreats to. He feels open and unsafe because there are no furniture to ‘hide’ behind. The candle lights imply Antoinette’s passion – anger perhaps but still passion “The telescope drew away and said don’t touch me. The trees were threatening and the shadows of the trees moving slowly menaced me” p96 L24-26 Rochester implies that nothing wants him around. This shows how he feels threatened. It also shows how unstable he is. “If you see what I see in this place with the machete bright and shining in the corner, you don’t have such a long face for such a small thing” p97-98 L36-2 This is what Christophine says. She’s challenging him. She says that even if there was a machete you wouldn’t be able to use it – I think. I wasn’t so sure, what are your opinions? “went softly on the dark veranda” p96 L Everything is dark to Rochester now. He holds no power. He’s feel guilty otherwise he wouldn’t have used the adverb ‘softly’. It’s almost as if he doesn’t want to cause any more harm. “You make her think you can’t see the sun for looking at her” p98 L35-36 He makes Antoinette feel ugly, which is unusual for her – perhaps since the covenant she’s been told she’s pretty all the time? “It’s she can’t see the sun anymore. Only you she see” P99 L6 Christophine explains that Antoinette loves Rochester. There were still some sun worshippers which could mean that Antoinette worships Rochester, that Rochester makes Antoinette feel safe and happy and that he’s taken that away from her.

25 “Antoinette’s silent room” P 106 L12. Antoinette is shutting him out.
“But that’s some months away. It’s an English summer now, so cool, so grey. Yet I think of my revenge and hurricanes”. P107 L12-13 The ‘English’ reinforces that Antoinette was everything but English which is why she may be going mad. It also explains who Antoinette is not stoic like English girls. The revenge he thinks of is implied to his father because his father is the one who he believes is responsible for this. “Antoinette’s silent room” P 106 L12. Antoinette is shutting him out. “I wake her up to sit in the sun, bathe in cool river.” L17 p 100. Christophine implies that the sun makes her better. If you link this with the last quote, it shows how Rochester has taken away her life because he has tried to replace the sun. That’s why Antoinette can’t get better. “The tree shivers. Shivers and gathers all its strength. And waits.” P108 L9 Rochester is appealing to the reader. He believes that he is the one wronged and that he’s gathering all his strength, especially after the episode with Christophine and Antoinette last night “saw that tree strike its root deeper, making ready to fight the wind.” P107 L4-5. Rochester believes that he is fighting his way out of something his family got him into but rather it is Antoinette who is the fighter. “She is a Creole girl, and she have the sun in her.” P102 l34. Christophine simply says that Antoinette is beautiful on the inside as well as the outside. “(There is a cool wind blowing now – a cold wind. Does it carry the babe born to stride the blast of hurricanes?)”P108 L He says this in parenthesis, it’s almost a side thought. He’s wondering if their marriage can survive and this makes me feel as if he feels it would if they had children. That the child would defy Rochester’s ‘hurricanes’

26 “Expecting as the hurricane will touch that tree – and break it
“Expecting as the hurricane will touch that tree – and break it.” P108 L3 This is a metaphor to show how fragile Antoinette is. Yet she is still strong because it takes a hurricane to break her, not a small wind. “Nearly all the candles were out. She didn’t light fresh ones – nor did I. We sat in the dim light. I should stop this useless conversation, I thought, but could only listen, hypnotised, to her dark voice coming from the darkness” p101 L The modified ‘hypnotised’ reminds the reader that Christophine can use magic – obeah – and it implies that that is the only reason she has control over Rochester. Rochester accuses her without saying anything. The lighting of the candles shows the seriousness tone of the room. Rochester has to be serious and he is not passionate anymore. It also, to me, implies that Rochester is scared. “We will watch the sun set again – many times, and perhaps we’ll see the Emerald Drop, the green flash that brings good fortune” L15-18 pg 110 This is the only quote in these pages which implies he actually wants to be happy with Antoinette. “Then lie so still, still as this cloudy day” p107 L30. In a sense he’s implying that he wants Antoinette dead or that he wants her to completely surrender to him. Either way, this shows how unstable he is and in a modern day society it would imply that he needs help, not her. “Black snake-like forest. Louder and more desperately it called: Save me from destruction, ruin and desolation. Save me from the long slow death by ants. But what are you doing here you folly? So near the forest. Don’t you know that this is a dangerous place? And that the dark forest always wins?” L9-13. I thought the black= snake-like forest was a sexual metaphor (I’ll explain about this while presenting). The list of 3 and the alliteration of the ‘d’ sounds imply that Rochester feels as if everything is dangerous, starting with Antoinette, and ending with the whole Caribbean. He also mentions pirates. He feels trapped within Antoinette because of the sexual metaphor and he feels as if he’s saving himself in a sense.

27 Rochester hates Granbois because of the night that he felt powerless
Rochester hates Granbois because of the night that he felt powerless. Both Christophine and Antoinette challenged him, which he found difficult to take in as he is a man, they are women, it’s not meant to happen that way round. “Here’s a cloudy day to help you. No brazen sun. No sun... No sun... the weather’s changed.” P108 L22-23 “The Emerald drop! That brings good fortune.’ Yes for a moment the sky was green – a bright green sunset.”p109 L3-4. He later riducles her and he idea of good fortune. “Shabby white house” p109 L8 “Black snake-like forest. Louder and more desperately it called: Save me from destruction, ruin and desolation. Save me from the long slow death by ants. But what are you doing here you folly? So near the forest. Don’t you know that this is a dangerous place? And that the dark forest always wins?” L9-13. I’ll comment on this separately “He was ready for the rain and it was certainly on its way” L21-22 “the distant sea”p110 L1 P110 L11-14. P112 30-34 “I hated the mountains and the hills, the rivers and he rain. I hated the sunsets of whatever colour, I hated its beauty and its magic and the secret I would never know. I hated its indifference and the cruelty which was part if its loveliness, Above all I hated her, Fir she belonged to the magic and the loveliness”

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