In the story from which this epigraph derives, which was published in 1976, Rhys conveys with compression and understatement the preoccupations that were with her throughout her life. All of the elements are here in miniature: the displacement of people in a culture they do not understand; the hypocrisy of those in privileged social positions who disclaim their own responsibility; the duplicity of men in their dealings with women; the abuse of power between adult and child; and the psychological determinants of both action and reaction. The story is set in Rouseau, Dominica, Rhys’s birthplace; and in the 1890s, the years of her earliest childhood. It contains the thematics that shaped her fiction from the first short sketches she composed as a young writer to the culminating achievement of Wide Sargasso Sea, completed in her old age.
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