Memory and Materials

Wide Sargasso Sea also presents the connection between memory, meaning, and objects, similar to our discussions about objects and memory from The Return of the Soldier. At the end of the novel, when Grace Poole retells the events during Richard's visit, Antoinette connects the dress to the mechanism by which Richard would have better remembered her by saying, "If I'd been wearing that [red dress] he'd have known me." Antoinette continues saying, "But something you can touch and hold like my red dress, that has meaning" (page 109)." again connecting the meaning to items. The red dress also brings back memories of Antoinette's meetings with Sandi. This parallels the discussion we had during the seminar about The Return of the Soldier and how physical items can remind those who have forgotten. 

Another example of the connection between memory and objects is the Coulibri estate and Antoinette's memory of her mother. As she tells her husband about her mother and early life, she shares the experience of the events following the burning down of Coulibri. Again, we see this connection between a thing (the Coulibri Estate) and memory. "This did not seem strange to me for she was a part of Coulibri, and if Coulibri had been destroyed and gone out of my life, it seemed natural that she should go too" (page 80). In this case, we see Antoinette's connection between an object and a memory. When the object is gone, Antoinette rationalizes that her mother and her memory of her mother should also be gone.