Wild Sargasso Sea is a prequel to Charlotte Bronte's 'Jayne Eyre'. It is the story of the first Mrs. Rochester. It describes her lonely childhood, growing up in Jamaica. She is a white Creole whose mother is widowed and poor. The action takes place shortly after the emancipation of the slaves who are resentful of their former masters domination. Antoinette, the heroine, feels threatened by their situation. Her mother is taken up almost soley with Antoinette's handicapped brother. Eventually the mother marries again.
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Her husband is a rich Enlishman who is totally impervious to the tensions surrounding them. The family have to flee their home resulting in the death of the damaged boy and subsequent madnes of the mother. Sometime later Antoinette takes on an arranged marriage to Mr Rochester (never named). By this time Antoinette's chance of survival emotionally rests with a successful and happy marriage. Her husband does not love her and resents the fact that he married her in obedience to his father. Antoinette's stepfather has settled much money on her which becomes her husbands. She retreats into herself and is labelled mad. She is brought back to England and walled up in Rochester's house. Here she eventually sets fire to the house, mirroring the firing of her first home in Jamaica.