Major works data sheet for Rebecca
Title: Rebecca Author: Daphne du Maurier Date of Publication: 1938 Genre: Romance, Gothic, Mystery, Classic Biographical Information about the Author: Daphne du Maurier was born on May 13, 1907, in London, England, the daughter of actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier. She was a popular novelist known for her suspenseful, romantic and sometimes supernatural plots. Her best known works are Rebecca and The Birds, both adapted to film by Alfred Hitchcock. Du Maurier was made a Dame Commander in the Order of the British Empire in 1969. She died in 1981 in Par, Cornwall, England. Historical Information about the period of Publication:
Characteristics of the genre: Romanticism saw a shift from faith in reason to faith in the senses, feelings, and imagination; a shift from interest in urban society to an interest in the rural and natural; a shift from public. Gothic horror) is a genre of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance. Plot Summary: Rebecca’s narrative takes the form of a flashback.
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The heroine, who remains nameless, lives in Europe with her husband, Maxim de Winter, traveling from hotel to hotel, harboring memories of a beautiful home called Manderley, which, we learn, has been destroyed by fire.
The story begins with her memories of how she and Maxim first met, in Monte Carlo, years before. In her flashback, the heroine is working as the young traveling companion to a wealthy American named Mrs. Van Hopper. In her flashback, Maxim is staying at the same hotel as the heroine and her employer, and after knowing the heroine for only a few weeks, he proposes marriage. She accepts, and he marries her and takes her back to his ancestral estate of Manderley. But a dark cloud hangs over their marriage: Maxim’s first wife, Rebecca, drowned in a cove near Manderley the revious year, and her ghost haunts the newlyweds’ home.
Rebecca’s devoted housekeeper, the sinister Mrs. Danvers, is still in charge of Manderley, and she frightens and intimidates her new mistress. Despite the encouragement of the house overseer, Frank Crawley, and Maxim’s sister, Beatrice, the heroine struggles in her new life at Manderley. She feels that she can never compare favorably to Rebecca, who was beautiful, talented, and brilliant–or so everyone says–and soon she feels that Maxim is still in love with his dead wife. Manderley traditionally hosts a costume all each year, and it is soon time for the gala to take place.
Swept up in the preparations, the heroine’s spirits begin to revive. But the ball ends in disaster: on Mrs. Danvers’s suggestion she wears a costume that, it turns out, is the same dress that Rebecca wore at the last ball. Upon seeing the heroine, Maxim is horrified, and the heroine becomes convinced that he will never love her, that he is still devoted to Rebecca. The following day, Mrs. Danvers almost convinces her to kill herself, and she only breaks away from the old woman’s spell when rockets go off over the cove, signaling that a ship nas run aground.
When divers swim near the grounded snip, they find the wreckage of Rebecca’s sailboat, with Rebecca’s dead body in the hold. This discovery prompts Maxim to tell the heroine the truth: Rebecca was a malevolent, wicked woman, who lived a secret life and carried on multiple affairs, including one with her cousin, Jack Favell. On the night of her death, Maxim had demanded a divorce, and she had refused, and told him that she was pregnant with Favell’s child. Furious, he seized a gun and shot her, and then sailed out to the harbor in Rebecca’s boat and sank it, with the body stowed safely inside.
This revelation restores the heroine’s marriage, and enables her to finally shake off the burden of Rebecca’s ghost. Meanwhile, however, the noose of Justice tightens around Maxim: first, it is found that holes have been drilled in the bottom of Rebecca’s boat; luckily the coroner delivers a report of suicide, rather than murder. But soon Rebecca’s cousin Favell, certain that Rebecca did not kill herself, accuses Maxim of the crime. The local magistrate, Colonel Julyan, investigates, and finds that on the day of her death, Rebecca went up to London to see a Doctor Baker.
Favell, Maxim, and he heroine accompany Julyan to London; the heroine is certain that Baker will reveal that Rebecca was pregnant, thus revealing Maxim’s vengeful motive for murder. But instead, it turns out that Rebecca was dying of cancer, and that furthermore she was infertile; she had lied to Maxim about her pregnancy. Her terminal illness now supplies a motive for Rebecca’s supposed suicide, and Maxim is saved. He and the heroine drive all night back to Manderley, stopping only once, when Maxim calls home and learns that Mrs. Danvers has disappeared. As they crest the ridge near the mansion, they look down and find it in flames.
Describe the authors style: British writer that uses vivid and lengthy descriptions to describe nature. She is very detailed and descriptive, and used some poetic themes to strengthen her writing. An example that demonstrates her style: “The road to Manderley lay ahead. There was no moon. The sky above our heads was inky black. But the sky on the horizon was not dark at all. It was shot with crimson, like a splash of blood. And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea. ” Memorable Quotes “If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent.
And it never aded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again. ” P 36 The quote shows how much the heroine enjoyed spending the quality time with Maxim and wanted their quality time to last a lifetime because she loved him so much. “l wish I was a woman of about thirty-six dressed in black satin with a string of pearls. ” Heroine always wanted to change because she believed that Maxim was still in love with Rebecca, so she believed that she had to change to make him love her as much as he loved Rebecca.
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. ” Heroine had dreams of Manderley a lot because it still haunted her even after it had been burned down. She did end up falling in love with it, but all the baggage that came along with it was too much for her. “Either you go to America with Mrs. Van Hopper or you come home to Manderley with me. ” “Do you mean you want a secretary or something? ” “No, I’m asking you to marry me, you little fool. ” Maxim asks the heroine to marry him so that she can go back to Manderley with him instead of having to leave with Mrs.
Van Hopper. “The road to Manderley lay ahead. There was no moon. The sky above our heads was inky black. But the sky on the horizon was not dark at all. It was shot with crimson, like a splash of blood. And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea. ” The mansion had been set fire by someone, and the details given her are a great example of du Maurier’s writing and the details and vivid descriptions that she gave throughout this novel. “We all of us have our particular devil who ruses us and torments us, and we must give battle in the end. Maxim said this, because he has that “devil” of Rebecca still aunting him even though she has long been dead. Characters Name Role in the Story Significance Adjectives Heroine (Mrs. De Winter) Mr. de winter’s wife, and loyal supporter. She is the main character, But she is never named. Even throughout the entire book she never has a name besides Mrs. de Winter. She was a shy newcomer to Manderley and was kind of not liked by some especially Mrs. Danvers. Shy; self- conscious; Mr. de Winter (Maxim) The husband to Mrs. de Winter, and later to be revealed in the novel as the killer of his late wife Rebecca.
The other main character of the husband to Mrs. e Winter. A cultured, intelligent older man, and the owner of Manderley, a prized estate and mansion on the English coast. novel, Intelligent; rich Mrs. Danvers Housekeeper of Manderley, was Rebecca’s personal maid. The sinister housekeeper at Manderley. She was fiercely devoted to Rebecca, and remains devoted to her even after death. She despises the heroine for taking her mistress’s place. Mean; selfish; rude Jack Favell Rebecca’s Cousin Rebecca’s cousin. Lacking integrity and given to alcoholic behavior, he was Rebecca’s lover while she was married to Maxim.
Crazy; drunk Rebecca Maxim’s late wife, who was murdered by him. In life, Rebecca was the beautiful, much-loved, accomplished wife of Maxim de Winter, and the mistress of Manderley. Now a ghost, she haunts the mansion, and her presence torments the heroine after her marriage to Maxim. Beautiful; cunning; sneaky Mrs. Van Hopper Heroine’s employer at the beginning of the book A vulgar, gossipy and wealthy American woman. She employs the heroine as a companion while sne travels trom one European resort unkind Setting: town to another. Rude;