Glen Thomas


Anna Morgan, the central character of Jean Rhys's Voyage in the Dark, has previously been read as a victim of her own inability to fashion some form of life for herself.1 It is possible, however, to suggest an alternative to such character-based readings and instead examine the systems of oppression which work to ensure that Anna remains an excluded, marginalized subject. Rather than personal failings, it is Anna's gender and colonial status which prevent her from participating fully in the dominant social and economic order of Voyage in the Dark. Anna is textually constrained on three levels, which may be defined as economic, colonialist, and narrative. Imbricated within these is the question of gender, which functions to place Anna in a position of double-exclusion within the text. These forms of exclusion function at the levels of discourse and narrative; I would argue that Anna's position is not, therefore, a product of realist character 'flaws' but rather that her discursive placement within the novel offers insight into the ways in which colonialism and sexism function in terms of textuality. 2



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.