Identity In The Miller's Daughter

1454 Words6 Pages
The sense of belonging to a place seems to be important for people as an assistance to find their own identity that will define them as a person. In most of cases, people belong to one place, but for those who find themselves trapped in an uncertainty of whether they belong to a place or to another this search of identity becomes a much more complicated task. It is then when racial prejudices arouse, but they emerge not only from the person who is looking for his identity, but from those surrounding him. Each of them has grown up in a manner that will determine the way in which they see the rest of people, and because not all of them have grown up in the same way, some differences and controversies will show up at the time of determining where…show more content…
She does not really know where she belongs to and as a consequence she sometimes feels closer to the white people and other times she feels more like a black woman. Paying attention to Myra and Tia (both black characters), we can check this uncertainty. There is a moment when Antoinette is talking to Myra and then she suddenly turns to have a look at her favourite picture “‘The Miller’s Daughter,’ a lovely English girl with brown curls and blue eyes” (p.), thus showing her white prejudice and her wish to become English. However, she sometimes feels identified with black women “it was as if I saw myself. Like in a looking glass” (p.) states Antoinette thinking of Tia. She had been her companion and as such, they had shared so many things together that made Antoinette think that after all they were not as different. Therefore, this character feels some empathy with white and black people. Another example is that throughout the novel we see Antoinette finding support in Christophine several times. Nevertheless she exposes again her racial prejudice when she talks about her black nurse in a bad way “but how can she know the best thing for me to do, this ignorant, obstinate old negro woman” (p.). Here Antoinette uses the term “negro” as a pejorative one, manifesting her “white superiority”. Besides, after having asked Christophine…show more content…
Antoinette lacks an identity, not only in the hands of her husband who reduces her personality and changes her name, but also in the eyes of everybody else. She is a puppet, something that belongs to the hands that are holding it; she is what the people think she is and belongs to nowhere. She is trapped in her “own Sargasso Sea”, trapped between two worlds, Europe and Jamaica, but without belonging to any of them. She cannot form her personal identity, but on the contrary “Rhys suggests that so intimate a thing as personal and human identity might be determined by the politics of imperialism” (Chakravorty Spiva, 250), therefore, although Antoinette wishes to become English, it is something she cannot control because there are so many prejudices attached to her Creole condition. Last character I would like to comment on is Mr Rochester. He is white and as so he hates Christophine. His hatred is manifested several times throughout the novel because of what I said before of this character representing the “black voice of
Open Document