On m'a supplié (presque à genoux) de mettre en ligne mon extrait 9, sûrement à cause de la qualité de ma lecture de ce matin, donc moi, en gentil camarade, ben j'le fais, tiens!
Extract 9: Confrontation with Christophine
[ Auteur + résumé ]
At that point of the story, Rochester is alone at Granbois: the servants left the house.
Christophine came back to support Antoinette who got alcoholic and can’t face the terrible situation by herself.
But Christophine, who is wanted because she is suspected of using obeah, also came back to talk with Rochester. We discover their confrontation in a very tense extract.
I. A confrontation full of reproaches
1. Christophine’s reproaches to Rochester
- He married Antoinette for her money and took it all. Moreover, he talked her into marrying him, because at the beginning, she didn’t agree.
- He makes her believe he loved her, and turns her into a “love addict”. And after that, he didn’t try to make the marriage work.
- He took advantage of the gossips he heard of or read of as suits him.
- He makes her doubt her identity by giving her another name, for example.
-> He did all he could to break her up.
2. Rochester’s response
- The reproaches of Christophine ring in Rochester’s head: on one hand, it shows Rochester’s state of mind (who seems to go crazy) and on the other hand, it emphasizes the crucial moment of the scene, and even of Rochester and Antoinette’s relationship.
- He seems to mimic Antoinette’s need for Christophine, as if he wanted to make her appear as a hopeless, helpless childish fool. He needs to find Antoinette’s faults to justify his behaviour.
- He says Christophine tried to poison him and turned Antoinette into a wreck by trying to heal her with rum.
-> He defends by attacking Antoinette and Christophine, which shows his aggressive state of mind.
II. Flashback on what happened at Christophine’s place
1. Christophine’s good influence
- Christophine seems to be Antoinette’s last hope: as soon as the sun rises, she leaves Granbois to see her. She begs Christophine to help her.
- Christophine appears one more time like Antoinette’s surrogate mother: she bathed her, made her soup, gave her fruit and milk, and begged her to eat to get strong again.
- Christophine also used obeah to help Antoinette by giving her something to make her sleep.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t work and seems to have a bad effect on Antoinette…
2. Christophine’s bad influence
- Not only did Christophine drug Antoinette with obeah potion but she also made her drink rum because she thinks that’s less dangerous.
- Because of Christophine, Antoinette became alcoholic and that suits Rochester who just needed an excuse to justify his behaviour. Now, he can blame Antoinette for something completely real: she is often drunk, and even became a wreck.
That passage is very important because it shows Christophine’s loss of power. She used to take all the good decisions and to help Antoinette very well but, at that point of the story, she seems completely powerless and at the end, has to beg Rochester.
-> Rochester won: Antoinette is helpless and Christophine has lost all her power. From that moment, he becomes the only master of the game and can do what he wants.