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Rebecca

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Madeleine Student

on 24 November 2014

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Transcript of Rebecca

"Last Night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood the iron gate leading to the drive, and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me...No smoke came from the chimney, and the little lattice windows gaped forlorn. Then, like all dreamers, I was possessed of a sudden with supernatural powers and passed like a a spirit through the barrier before me... Nature had come into her own again and, little by, little, in her stealthy, insidious way had encroached upon the drive with long tenacious fingers" (du Maurier 1).
Rebecca
Summary
Coming of Age
Similarly there is the Electra Complex; not unlike Oedipus, Electra kills her mother. The statement here is that as girls grow up and want to be free to make choices and mistakes, they resent their mothers who are pushing themselves upon their daughters. Therefore, girls prefer their father. In Rebecca, the mother figure is Mrs. Van Hopper, who tries to convince X that Maxim doesn't really love her, he's just lonely, and she shouldn't run away and marry him. Of course, that's exactly what she does. Rebecca also becomes a female patriarch- X feels like she can't be with Maxim unless Rebecca's ghost disappears.
Influence: Romantic Era
Romantic Era: 1750s-early 1800s. Humans were the center of nature. It was believed that one could find the truth and God in nature. The focus in art and literature became about emotions and human actions as well as the feelings nature evoked. Famous authors during this period: Wordsworth, Keats, Gyron, Shelley, and Caleridge. In America, the "Romantic Era" was Transcendentalism, a similar movement with the thought that humans could have knowledge about themselves and the world that goes beyond the physical. Walt Whitman and Thoreau Emerson are prime examples of transcendentalists.
By: Daphne du Maurier
Rebecca
by Daphne du Maurier
This book would be considered "a classic" by many. It's a combination of three styles of writing from different times. The book begins with these famous words: "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again..." and goes on to weave a story rich with suspense, horror, romance, and youthfulness. Character x, for the main character has no name, marries Maxim de Winter, and moves into his estate, Manderley. The youthful x has no experience handling the affairs of the privileged, and she falls into the shadow of the late Mrs.de Winter, Rebecca, Maxim's first wife. We witness as x grapples with a ghost who seems to control Maxim, who carries a dark secret, and her happiness.
Influence: Victorian Era and Gothic Style
Victorian Era: 1837-1901. Industrialism; the new technology and social classes inspired a whole new brand of writing and art; one completely unlike the soft, emotional state of work during the Romantic Era. Key ideas during this period included respectability and modesty, concern with morals (Dickens), and social classes. A popular motif in literature was "the orphan", for example, Oliver Twist.
"Gothic" A style that was favored from the late Romantic Era (Frankenstein) to the early Victorian Era (Wuthering Heights). Often Gothic literature included dark, ominous settings, violence, supernatural magic, medieval chivalry, and secrets (most of which the reader's imagination is responsible for uncovering).
Rebecca
=Gothic Thriller
Character x?
Daphne du Maurier
1907-1989. Her father was a wealthy businessman, and Daphne grew up in luxury. Manderley in the story is actually modeled off of Daphne's own estate, Menabilly.
Why doesn't the main character have a name?
Rebecca
is a coming of age novel. As the story moves forward, our main character will develop a personality. Yet, she finds herself wallowing in the shadow of Rebecca, the perfect, gorgeous, proper lady who everyone expects her to be. With everyone telling her to be Rebecca, it's hard for her to come up with "herself". If all she's trying to be is Rebecca, why bother with a name? Her lack of a name represents a lack of an identity. This book features a young woman's quest to overcome the ghost of her husband's dead wife and achieve her own identity.
Oedipus Complex: Oedipus was a character written by Sophocles; as a young boy he saw a soothsayer, who told him he was destined to kill his father and marry his mother. Sigmund Freud theorized that all boys have conflicts with their fathers as they grow up and "become their own man" while "being with" their mothers.
Evil Never Rests
Insecurity of X comes from X.
Voice/Demon is her head=Mrs. Danvers.
Mrs.Danvers is the living embodiment of Rebecca- symbol. Always described with limp, cold hands and a skull's face...
"Someone advanced from the sea of faces, someone tall and gaunt, dressed in deep black, whose prominent cheekbones and great, hollow eyes gave her a skull's face, parchment white, set on a skeleton's frame... when she took my hand hers was limp and heavy, deathly cold, and it lay in mine like a lifeless thing" (du Maurier 68).
X can't find herself, so she latches on to Rebecca: She has "back in time moments".
White Caroline de Winter costume.. subconsciously knew she was dressing as Rebecca. She had accomplished Rebecca for that minute.
Rebecca's face at dinner: "I had so identified myself with Rebecca that my own drab self didn't exist." Eager to dog Maxim for details of what she looked like.
Tried to convince X to jump off the balcony, and is creepily obsessed with Rebecca's things...
Her attempts at authority fail miserably: For example, X brings in a flower vase and sets it down. She is then told where Rebecca used to put it, and instead of holding her ground, she moves it to that spot.
Archetypes
Disloyal/evil housekeeper: Mrs.Danvers
Loyal but idiotic, insecure "pet wife": Character X, who takes anything said about her that absolute wrong way.
X begins to wonder if her marriage is deteriorating. Maxim treats her like a puppy to pat on the head from time to time, but X really does act like a child. Ex. broken cupid statue X tries to conceal and hiding from visitors at Manderley.
Climax
X decides to host a masquerade ball, and Mrs.Danvers tricks her into going as Caroline de Winter, who Rebecca had gone as the previous year before she drowned. Maxim is outraged and in shock and horror, just maybe not for the reasons everyone expects... This is when X starts to reconsider her marriage.
A Dark Secret
Maxim is remorseful and presumed ill the year after his glowing, beautiful wife's boat is found at the bottom of the bay and her rock beaten corpse on the shore. But when the vessel is found sealed tightly, a decaying body the cabin, the question arises: did Rebecca go out that night with a companion? Did she get trapped in the cabin during a storm and the body found was misinterpreted, or did Rebecca commit suicide?
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