Charlotte Bronte and Jean Rhys use dreams to symbolize the destiny of the main characters. The dreams also present to the characters the premonition of the events that are about to take place in their lives.
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In the novel Wide Sargasso Sea, Antoinette, the main character, experiences a number of dreams. The first dream occurs when she is a child. The dream is a premonition of danger that is ahead; although she dreams after fighting with her friend Tia, it also represents her conscience because her friend despises her during the ordeal. In the dream, Antoinette is lonely and her life is under threat.
However, this represents her past after having a misunderstanding with Tia hence the fears that their friendship is about to fallout. At seventeen years, Antoinette experiences her second dream. The dream foreshadows her future where her stepfather will force her to get married. She will have no choice but to accept the suitor’s proposal. The dream also foresees her suitor as a rude and disrespectful man who will push her around. Although she hates her fiancé, she will eventually take him to altar and recite the marriage vows.
Additionally, she has a white skirt on which is soiled, showing she will lose her virginity to a man she hates in her life. In the final dream, Antoinette remembers her childhood dolls and house; she sees her childhood friend Tia and her stepfather. When the two call her she declines their request showing that she hates them. The third dream represents her change of lifestyle from the cruelty in England to the comfortable land in the Caribbean after her marriage.
On the other hand, since childhood Jane, the main character in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre experiences frequent dreams. Jane’s first dream is a premonition of problems that are about to happen in future. She wakes up screaming and in reality, her Uncle John pass on while her aunt is in critical condition.
This leaves her in a somber mood for a few days. In addition, she wants to marry Rochester who has a mad wife called Bertha. Bertha typifies the consistent problems that will characterize Jane and Rochester’s relationship hence she acts a barrier. The second dream also symbolizes the unpleasant events that are yet to happen to Jane.
The dream is a flashback of her childhood where she was lonely following the early death of her parents. She is carrying a baby, which tires her, but she is unable to put her down due to lack of a suitable place. This symbolizes the final state of Thornfield, which will be inhabitable due to destruction. Additionally, the dream represents Jane’s conscience and fear of marriage as a wife of Rockester.
Her inability to get her future husband foreshadows a barrier that is in between the two which hinders their marriage. Although she wants to marry Rochester, his present wife is an obstacle. Truly to her dream Bertha (Rochester’s wife) burns down the estate. After sometime, Jane has a third dream that foreshadows her change of residence from Thornfield to unknown place.
However, the dream is a representation of her emotions where she thinks her marriage to Rochester will not last. Luckily, in her dream there is a person with determination to bond her to Rochester, which eventually happens. The last dream typifies her emotions due to her daily encounters where Rochester is to marry another woman called Ingram. The dream is a presentiment of her relationship that is incurring frequent troubles that lead to their ultimate separation.