Rebecca By Daphne Du Maurier Essay

1013 words - 4 pages

Rebecca is a beautiful, haunting, gripping tale of love, hate and
deceit told in the simplest and most endearing manner by Daphne Du
Maurier.

'Rebecca' is a beautiful, haunting, gripping tale of love, hate and
deceit told in the simplest and most endearing manner by Daphne Du
Maurier. Du Maurier weaves a beautiful web of mystery that holds you
captive until the very end of the novel. We readers feel the anxiety,
apprehension and fear that the protagonist describes and together we
move through each chapter with an anxiety that only ends with the end
of the novel itself. I think du Maurier's greatest accomplishment in
this book, character-wise, is the way she develops Rebecca, who is
already dead when the main action of the story begins, and never
really appears 'on-screen,' so to speak. Through this, Du Maurer is
able to create suspense and fear through the narratives. Rebecca is
very much alive in the memories of Maxim, the house servants, friends
and family members, but most crucially, of her personal maid, Mrs.
Danvers (and also of Rebecca's sleazy cousin, Jack Favel.

'Rebecca' begins with the description of Manderly, a beautiful old
mansion, with its menacing woods, rising turrets and long winding
drive. "A jewel in the hollow of a hand," Manderly, ridden by evil and
surrounded by mystery is the scene where the tale unfolds. Rebecca,
Manderly's late mistress, husband Max De Winter, Manderly's new
mistress, De Winter's second wife, and Mrs. Danvers the maid are the
principle characters

The story is related by Max De Winter's naive, shy young second wife
whom he meets at the hotel Cote d'Azur in Monte Carlo. She is
companion to a snobbish old lady Mrs. Van Hopper whose main occupation
is playing bridge and concerning herself with the lives of the
distinguished visitors at the hotel. It is through one of Mrs. Van
Hopper's calculated meetings that her companion meets Max De Winter
who is pointed out to her as "the man who owns Manderly..." and a
widower who cant get over his wife's death. Their relationship takes
form the next day when Max invites her to join his table for lunch and
subsequently on a drive. They fall in love and marry in haste arriving
at Manderly eight months after Rebecca's death.

Shy, vulnerable and in total awe of Manderly, Manderly's new mistress
is everything that Rebecca wasn't. She falls an easy prey to Rebecca's
faithful servant Mrs. Danvers who with her "hollow eyes" and
"parchment white" face is a constant reminder that Rebecca shades
all...even, Max's love for her. Her days at Manderly are filled with
apprehension and anxiety. Rebecca's shadow looms large over her, her
presence fills the house kept alive by Mrs. Danvers who, she finds to
her horror, preserves Rebecca's room just as it was the night before
her drowning accident. She is scared and intimidated by Mrs. Danvers
whose love and allegiance to her dead mistress is unsettling to both
her and us readers.

...

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