Wide Sargasso Sea

Clothing and Hair Symbol Icon
The state of women’s dresses and hair represent their desirability as well as their agency in the novel. When Tia and Antoinette fall out early on in the novel, Tia humiliates Antoinette by stealing her dress. Annette’s effort to lift the family out of destitution begins with the making of new dresses for herself and Antoinette. When Antoinette wakes from her fever, she knows that she has been ill and a great change has occurred because she sees that her hair has been cut. Louise de Plana, the ultimate ideal female in the novel, is constantly dressed in white, and has hair that Antoinette tries and fails to emulate. The husband’s physical attraction to both Antoinette and Amélie is at various points directed towards their dresses, and in the case of Antoinette even her dress on its own, without her in it, is enough to arouse the husband. Christophine’s intimidating presence is often connected with the bold colors of her dress.

Clothing and Hair Quotes in Wide Sargasso Sea

The Wide Sargasso Sea quotes below all refer to the symbol of Clothing and Hair. 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the W.W. Norton & Company edition of Wide Sargasso Sea published in 1992.
Part 2 Quotes

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:

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 culp

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. E

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Clothing and Hair Symbol Timeline in Wide Sargasso Sea

The timeline below shows where the symbol Clothing and Hair appears in Wide Sargasso Sea. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
...to jeer at Annette as she rides by, particularly at the increasing shabbiness of her appearance. (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
...remembers in particular a feeling of safety and comfort while watching her mother comb her hair. (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
...nigger now.” When Antoinette looks away, Tia leaves with her money as well as her clothes, forcing Antoinette to walk home in Tia’s dirty dress. (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
...Mr. Luttrell who have come to claim his estate. These visitors laugh at Antoinette’s dirty clothes, causing her to run away and Annette and Christophine to argue about the state of... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
...is awoken in the middle of the night by her mother, who tells her to dress quickly and come downstairs. Antoinette is struck by the disheveled state of her mother’s hair.... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
...at Aunt Cora’s home in Spanish Town. The first thing she notices is that her hair has been cut off, and she asks Aunt Cora about it. She learns that she... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
...the room. She cannot see her mother’s face, but soon recognizes her by her damaged hair. They embrace, and Antoinette struggles to express to her mother that, though Pierre is dead,... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
The nuns place high emphasis on appearance, as well as chastity and deportment. Though there are no mirrors at the convent, Antoinette... (full context)
Part 2
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
...servant, Hilda, when she begins to giggle during the introductions. the husband observes that Hilda’s dress is spotless, but thinks that her hair, arranged in many small braids, makes her look... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
...Christophine’s familiar, comforting smell of clean and starched cotton, and remembers watching Christophine washing her clothes at Coulibri. Antoinette looks around, takes in the beauty of the wildlife and the sky,... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
...stops reading and sends for Amélie. As he waits for her, he pictures the white dress that he knows she will be wearing, pictures her hair and her bare feet. As... (full context)
Truth Theme Icon
...he recognizes the complication he’s created, and feels “satisfied and peaceful, but not gay.” Amélie dresses, and he admires her dress. He gives her a large sum of money, which she... (full context)
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
...see her lying in bed with the empty rum decanter next to her on a chair. He leaves and waits on the veranda. After a while, Antoinette wakes and begins ringing... (full context)
Part 3
Otherness and Alienation Theme Icon
Slavery and Freedom Theme Icon
Women and Power Theme Icon
Truth Theme Icon
...into the hallway and sees what she thinks is a ghost, a woman with streaming hair, surrounded by a gilt frame. She drops her candle, and it catches the end of... (full context)