Trust in Jean Rhys' Good Morning, Midnight
Jean Rhys' (12) heroine in Good Morning, Midnight, is a woman who calls herself Sasha: she is a woman who believes that ôone mustn't put everything on the same plane.ö In other words, this aging, alcoholic, world-weary and disappointed woman has come to the regrettable but inescapable conclusion that there is not much in life (or human nature) to be trusted. In this brief report, the reasons for Sasha's failure to trust Rene, the younger male she encounters during a trip to Paris, will be discussed.
Sasha's experiences with men have not been especially positive. Her great love, Enno, and her father, have both vanished from her life û leaving a sense of emptiness and abandonment. Thus, Sasha believe that ôthe thing is to have a programme, not to leave anything to chance û no gaps (15).ö Madame Venus,ö the goddess of love, has played this woman too many tricks for her to be able to trust men easily (47); indeed, she does not trust herself any more, and even speculates that she might not be entirely same.
Sasha's abandonment by men she loves is extended even to the death of her infant son, described as pretty yet pale, silent and unmoving (60). The death of this child foreshadows Sasha's great sense that all men she loves will leave her in the end and that she is ultimately not worthy of their love or their permanence in her life. As much as anything else, it is Sasha's own past that predicts her inability to trust Rene.
Rene, a young Canadian, insists that he ômustö talk to Sasha, whom he literally ôpicks upö at a small cafT (73 û 36). There are moments, as their relationship begins to develop, when she finds him intelligent and when his belief that she would not betray him seems rational. Unfortunately, some of the story that Rene tells Sasha does not ring true. Having claimed to have just ôescapedö from the Foreign Legion and arrived in Paris, he t...