Rebecca By Daphne Du Maurier. Essay Is A Description Of The Narrator's Perception Of Self At Three Points In The Novel. Quotes Are Included.

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In Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier, the narrator's perception of self changes over the course of the romance novel. This can be observed by scrutinizing her perception of self at the beginning of the novel, soon after she arrives at Manderly, the famous mansion where her new husband, Maxim DeWinter, lives, and after she hears Maxim's revelation: he killed his first wife, Rebecca, because he thought she would have a son who would not be his, yet still be the heir of Manderly.

Initially, the narrator sees herself as very inferior to the upper class society of whom she mingles as a companion to Mrs. Van Hopper. "I know he (Maxim) did not want to eat lunch with me. It was his for of courtesy." She also perceives herself as a child, someone much too young to understand what to do in certain situations. She shows that she is a rather naive young lady "...I felt the colour flood into my face. I was too young, that was the trouble. Had I been older I would have caught his eye and smiled... but as it was I was stricken into shame, and endured one of the frequent agonies of youth." She is tormented by her youth and lack of confidence within herself "It was a situation for which I was ill-trained. I wished I was older, different." Her lack of confidence in herself shows greatly when she first arrives at Manderly, too.

At Manderly, she constantly frets over what everyone thinks of her, especially the house hold servants and Mrs. Danvers, the head of the staff, whom she thinks is constantly comparing her to Rebecca, and as result, compares herself to Rebecca as well. "...I realise, everyday, that things I lack, confidence, grace, beauty, intelligence, wit... she [Rebecca] possessed." The narrator cannot stop feeling inferior to Rebecca. She is painfully aware her social skills are not as good as Rebecca's were. She also worries about what Frith, the butler, thinks about her "...feeling, as I followed him, that he considered me as he would one of the public visitors, and I behaved like a visitor too..." In fact, she believes...

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