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Unravelling the Symbolic Chains: A Lacanian Exploration of Antoinette Cosway's Character in Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea (1966)


  This research study aims to analyze the character of Antoinette Cosway, portrayed in the novel Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), employing the psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan having a particular focus on the concept of Symbolic Order. This study employs qualitative content analysis as a research tool while Lacanian Symbolic Order is a theoretical framework. This novel portrays a great variety of characters. It focuses on the analysis of the character of Antoinette Cosway in Jean Rhys's novel Wide Sargasso Sea (1966). Judgmental sampling has been used for the selection of the population and sample, which includes relevant passages and dialogues describing the character development of Antoinette Cosway. The concept of the Symbolic order provides valuable information about the psyche of Antoinette Cosway. The analysis reveals the restrictions imposed by colonial, patriarchal, social, and legal structures upon Antoinette Cosway and the role of these restrictions in shaping her fragmented and broken sense of self and agency. By analyzing Antoinette's struggles to navigate the complex issues of her cultural, social, and linguistic identities, this research paper reveals her compromising position in the symbolic structure, where her struggle for autonomy ultimately leads her to commit suicide. This analysis reveals how the Symbolic Order undermined Antoinette's identity and agency by imposing social, political, and legal constraints on her. This research is very illuminating, as it reveals the development of Antoinette Cosway under the restrictions of imposed symbolic systems and discussion on postcolonial literature and feminist theory related to this novel as well.


Postcolonial, , Feminist, , Agency, , Dialogues, , Restrictions



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