Wide Sargasso Sea

Though never named in the novel, Antoinette Cosway’s husband is understood to be Jane Eyre’s Mr. Rochester, an English gentleman. The husband is deeply disoriented, even disturbed, by the Jamaican landscape and culture, and sees Antoinette as emblematic of both. Though he experiences a short period of passion with Antoinette during their honeymoon, his feelings of distrust and animosity eventually outweigh his love, so that he ends up imprisoning her in the attic of his English manor.

The Husband Quotes in Wide Sargasso Sea

The Wide Sargasso Sea quotes below are all either spoken by The Husband or refer to The Husband. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the W.W. Norton & Company edition of Wide Sargasso Sea published in 1992.
Part 2 Quotes

This a very wild place — not civilized. Why you come here?

Related Characters: The Young Bull (speaker), The Husband
Related Symbols: The Natural Landscape: Gardens, Jungle, Trees
Page Number: 68
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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If she were taller, one of these strapping women dressed up to the nines, I might be afraid of her.

Related Characters: The Husband (speaker), Antoinette Cosway
Related Symbols: Clothing and Hair
Page Number: 74
Explanation and Analysis:

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As for my confused impressions they will never be written. There are blanks in my mind that cannot be filled up.

Related Characters: The Husband (speaker)
Page Number: 76
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

I take up my pen after long thought and meditation but in the end the truth is better than a lie...you have been shamefully deceived by the Mason family...That girl she look you straight in the eye and talk sweet talk and it’s lies she tell you. Lies.

Related Characters: Daniel Cosway (speaker), Antoinette Cosway, The Husband
Page Number: 95
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex

These people are very vulnerable. How old was I when I learned to hide how I felt? A very small boy.

Related Characters: The Husband (speaker)
Page Number: 103
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

But I cannot go. He is my husband after all.

Related Characters: Antoinette Cosway (speaker), The Husband
Page Number: 109
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Exc

I was tired of these people. I disliked their laughter and their tears, their flattery and envy, conceit and deceit. And I hated the place. I hated the mountains and the hills, the rivers and the 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 of its loveliness. Above all I hated her. For she belonged to the magic and loveliness.

Related Characters: The Husband (speaker), Antoinette Cosway
Related Symbols: The Natural Landscape: Gardens, Jungle, Trees
Page Number: 172
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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The Husband Character Timeline in Wide Sargasso Sea

The timeline below shows where the character The Husband appears in Wide Sargasso Sea. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
Part Two begins with Antoinette’s new husband’s narration. He is never named in the novel. He and Antoinette have just married and... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
...woman in the door of a nearby hut, and goes to speak to her. The husband analyzes her appearance critically. He thinks of her eyes as “too large” and “disconcerting... long,... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
The husband leaves the shelter of the tree to speak to the two porters also accompanying them... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
They ride up into the mountains toward Granbois. the husband understands why the Young Bull called the place wild, and thinks to himself that it... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
They ride on and arrive at Granbois. Antoinette offers the husband a drink of water from the mountain stream at the boundary of the estate, and... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Antoinette introduces the husband to the servants, whom she has known since childhood. Among them is Baptiste, a dignified... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
Antoinette shows the husband to their suite, where they toast their happiness with rum punch, and see that two... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
The husband’s narration looks back to his initial courtship of Antoinette, and their wedding. Of Jamaica and... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
The husband describes the morning before the wedding, when a panicked Richard Mason, who in the wake... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
The husband falls asleep remembering his wedding day, and when he wakes up he finds Antoinette waiting... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
After dinner, the husband and Antoinette go for a walk. Antoinette tells him of a night during her childhood,... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
The next morning, the husband wakes to find Antoinette already up and dressed, and Christophine serving breakfast. Christophine offers the... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
The husband describes the pools and the surrounding jungle as beautiful and untouched, “with an alien, disturbing,... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
The husband describes watching the sunset each evening with Antoinette, when he would wait for the scent... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
...to live before meeting him, and he questions his initial hesitation to marry her. The husband describes a period of frequent and passionate lovemaking with Antoinette. One of these nights, she... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
One day, Amélie delivers a letter to the husband, from someone who identifies himself as Daniel Cosway, the “most unfortunate and poverty stricken” of... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
The letter goes on to tell the husband that in the wake of “the glorious Emancipation Act,” the estate at Coulibri went to... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
...he lives, he became certain that God had made it his duty to tell the husband the truth, because he is a man who he’s heard is “young and handsome with... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
The husband is not surprised by the letter, in fact he feels as if he’s been waiting... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
As Antoinette waits for Christophine, she ignores the husband and begins to shred her bed sheet in quiet distress. When Christophine arrives, Antoinette asks... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
...her to a centipede. She kisses Antoinette on the cheek and leaves. Antoinette asks the husband if he heard the song Amélie was singing, and he says he didn’t understand it.... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
After a while, the husband knocks on Antoinette’s door and receives no answer. He sits down to eat, and sees... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
While walking, the husband thinks of all the people who must have known the truth of Antoinette’s background and... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
This mysterious place calms the husband, but not for long. He soon sees a little girl carrying a basket, approaching the... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
Once the husband recognizes Baptiste, he follows him back toward the house. He asks Baptiste about the abandoned... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
Back at the house, the husband goes into his private drawing room and pulls out a book called “The Glittering Coronet... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
...that there must be something else she can do. Christophine replies that it is the husband who will be laughed at, not her, and tells her that she cannot force the... (full context)
Truth Theme Icon
...has no money of her own, as it has all been signed over to the husband. Christophine is furious, and blames Richard Mason for the arrangement, calling him, "worse than Satan."... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
...and you certainly know now." Christophine tells Antoinette to hush, that she cannot make the husband love her, but Antoinette insists, "Yes you can, I know you can...You can make people... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
Antoinette continues to insist that Christophine use her power to make her husband come to her bed for just one night. She is confident that she will be... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
...to “have spunks,” to “do battle for yourself.” She tells her to go to the husband and tell him the truth about what happened at Coulibri, and explain what caused her... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
The narrative re-enters the husband’s consciousness. On the day that Antoinette goes to see Christophine, Amélie delivers another letter from... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
When Amélie arrives, the husband asks her if Daniel Cosway is a friend of hers. She says no, but she... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
...“very superior man,” who read the Bible and lived like a white man. When the husband asks what she means by this, she explains that Cosway has a house “like white... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
Amélie warns the husband that he should go and visit Daniel Cosway before he comes to the house to... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
The narration now jumps to the husband in Daniel Cosway’s sitting room. It is very hot, and there is no breeze, because... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
Daniel tells the husband that his name is actually Esau, and that the only things he ever received from... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
...fortune. He accuses Daniel of constantly pestering him for money, which Daniel explains to the husband as having been merely so that he would not have to "go barefoot like a... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
While Daniel is relaying this story to the husband, he drinks rum steadily. The husband asks him why he wanted to see him. Daniel... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
...as “like a white man, but more handsome than any white man.” At this, the husband gets up to leave, but Daniel stops him. He tells him again that Antoinette and... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
The husband and Antoinette are having dinner, with an “endless procession” of moths again flying into the... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
The husband asks Antoinette if her mother is alive, and Antoinette responds that she died not long... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
The husband becomes uncomfortable and suggests that they talk about it another time. Antoinette demands that they... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
Antoinette tells the husband about her mother. She tells him that after her father’s death Annette was very poor... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
...remember are lies, because “Lies are never forgotten, they go on and they grow.” The husband asks what Antoinette remembers of herself, and she says that she was happy in the... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
...“They trampled it. It was a sacred place. It was sacred to the sun!” The husband wonders silently how much of her story is true, how much of it distorted or... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
Antoinette tells the husband that a rock was thrown at her head the night Coulibri burned. She recalls that... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
...she has said all she wants to, and nothing has changed. She laughs, and the husband says, “Don’t laugh like that, Bertha.” She replies that her name is not Bertha, and... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
They get up to go in to bed, and the husband again calls her Bertha, despite her protests. When they get into the bedroom, the husband... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
The husband awakes before the sun rises, having dreamt that he was buried alive. He is cold... (full context)
Truth Theme Icon
When he returns to the house, the husband is fed and cared for by Amélie, and they spend the night together. Though Amélie... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
The husband goes back to sleep, and is woken by Baptiste telling him that the cook is... (full context)
Truth Theme Icon
...now are unclear, but that she is considered a “most dangerous person.” He tells the husband that if she lives near him and gets up to “any of her nonsense,” that... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
...the house, closely followed by Christophine. Antoinette goes to her room without looking at the husband, and rings for Baptiste. Baptiste fetches a bottle of rum to bring her, and ignores... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
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Antoinette reaches for another bottle of rum, and the husband tells her not to drink anymore. She snaps back that he has no right to... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
The husband opens the window because it has become unbearably hot in the room. When he turns... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
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Antoinette laughs a crazy laugh at this, and says that the husband is cold, a stone. She says that it serves her right, because Aunt Cora had... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
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Christophine turns to the husband and asks him sadly why he did what he did with Amélie, why he didn’t... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
...satisfied, that she knows what he’s done and there’s no use lying to her. The husband demands to know what happened when Antoinette was with Christophine these last few days. He... (full context)
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
...all he wants is to hurt her. Her words begin to echo loudly in the husband’s head, as she accuses him of pretending to believe the lies that Daniel Cosway has... (full context)
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
The husband again knows that she is right, that he meant for her to hear what happened.... (full context)
Truth Theme Icon
...She reminds him that it is not Antoinette who traveled to England to convince the husband to marry her, it is he who came here to beg her. She asks him... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
The husband asks Christophine if she and Antoinette would both stay here at Granbois, and she says... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
...She says this is the first word of truth he’s spoken so far. When the husband next looks at her, it looks as if there is a mask on her face,... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
Agitated after his confrontation with Christophine, the husband paces his room and speaks aloud to himself a letter he wants to write to... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
While he is writing, a cock outside crows persistently. the husband throws a book at it, but it merely walks further away and keeps crowing. Baptiste... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
On the morning of their departure, the husband and Antoinette are dressed and packed for the journey, and Baptiste, along with some remaining... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
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The husband is filled with a bewildering and sudden certainty that everything he’d imagined to be true... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
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A servant boy begins to cry “loud, heartbreaking sobs,” and the husband thinks that he could have “strangled him with pleasure.” The husband asks Baptiste why the... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
They leave, and the husband notices that when Antoinette says goodbye to Baptiste she very nearly cries, but recovers her... (full context)
Part 3
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
...Grace Poole, Antoinette’s caretaker in England. She is speaking to Leah, another servant in the husband’s house. Grace recounts a conversation she’s had with Mrs. Eff, the housekeeper, where Mrs. Eff... (full context)
Truth Theme Icon
...was first brought here and locked in the attic, she planned to plead with the husband to let her go, but she never saw him again and never got the chance.... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
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...that the name “Grace” does not fit Grace Poole, that “names matter,” remembering when the husband refused to call her Antoinette, that as a result of this she felt the sense... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
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...him, but she declined. She recalls that Sandi often came to see her when the husband was away, that the servants all knew about it but didn’t tell. She recalls that... (full context)