The novel Wide Sargasso Sea centers around the story of Bertha Mason, the mad creole wife in Jane Eyre. The fact that Jean Rhys makes Bertha the narrative subject sets implicitly Jean Rhys and her text in opposition to her 19th Century literary predecessor, Charlotte Bronte, and her text. Bertha is a mute and devilish character in Jane Eyre, who is necessary to the story, but always she shrieks, howls, laughs horribly, attacks all and sundry-off stage. In Wide Sargasso Sea, however, Jean Rhys puts Bertha as a "plausible character with a past." In other words, Bertha is, as Jean Rhys puts it, "right on stage" in the novel. This subversive maneuver is the vital and characteristic task at the heart of the postcolonial rewriting.