Jane Eyre is a well-known gothic English novel publishes during the Victorian period by Charlotte Bronte. The novel contains the social criticism of sexuality, religion and feminist, which considered to be ahead of its time. In Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys has written a prequel to Jane Eyre. It mainly focuses on Bronte character Bertha, the mad wife who is not given a chance to speak out for herself in Jane Eyre. Both novels focus on the feminist issue in different ways; Rhys portrays Antoinette's struggle for identity within herself under patriarchal society, making her constrained and dies at the end. In the other hand, Bronte portrays Jane, rising against the societal oppression, due to her sense of self-worth and faith. Jane Eyre is narrated by one point of view, thus everything is clear who is good or bad through one perspective. For Wide Sargasso Sea, it is narrated by different point of views, the reader cannot be certain which characters are good or bad, it allows the readers to form an opinion toward characters by themselves like modern world view. However, the heroines in two stories, share some similarities and differences to one another. Mr. Rochester is the main character in both novels, but he seems to be quite different in each novel. However, it depends upon the reader's opinion to believe it convincing or not, but the procedure of reading each book does matter in forming an opinion. This essay will look at how Antoinette and Jane experience life in a patriarchal world and the very different outcomes that both achieves through their life. Moreover, it shows different kind of narrative style and different way that narrators portray Mr. Rochester in each novel. Lastly, it discusses about how convincing Wide Sargasso Sea is as a prequel story for Jane Eyre.
To begin with the differences between Jane and Antoinette, I shall start with their similarity in childhood. Jane and Antoinette grew up as an outcast; they receive a little love from adults.