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Transcript of Rebecca
is England during the early 1900's.
The first sentence of the novel, "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again," foreshadows the great
importance that the country estate of
Manderley will play in Rebecca.
The story begins in the
Hotel Cote D'azur in Monte Carlo,
but soon shifts to the English coastline,
at the Manderley manor,
for the remainder of the novel.
The Heroine Maxim de Winters Rebecca Mrs. Danvers Characters Owner of Manderley, he is an intelligent yet troubled man. In the beginning of the story, he has recently lost his beautiful and popular wife, Rebecca. He loves the heroine, but seems to be using her as an escape from the grief (or guilt) that fills his mind. Well loved by everyone who knew her, Rebecca was the former wife of Maxim de Winter and the mistress of Maderley. Her memory continually haunts the heroine after she moves to Manderley with Maxim. As the housekeeper at Manderley, she always loved Rebecca and is still loyal to her even after her death. She greatly dislikes the heroine for moving in and taking Rebecca's place. She never completely trusts her with the responsibilies that come with being the mistress of Manderley. Conflicts: The first minor conflict is between the shy and polite
heroine and the gossipy Mrs. Van Hopper. Mrs. Van
Hopper seems to embarass the heroine with her
forceful conversations that she usees to push herself
into other people's lives.
The major conflict of the novel is the heroine and the
memory of Rebecca. Everywhere she goes in
Manderley, she sees some reminent of the memory
of Rebecca, from the decoration of the rooms to the
desk that Rebecca used in the dayroom. She is
constantly reminded of how loved Rebecca was, while
she is only shy and self-conscious.
Included in the conflict is Mrs. Danvers, who
obviously misses Rebecca and treats the heroine
cooly. The heroine is upset with this coolness, not
understanding what she did to deserve that treatment.
She does her best to show that she is the new
mistress of Manderly and that though she is different
than Rebecca, she can still handle the responsibility
of Manderly. Plot The story is in the form of a flashback.
The first chapter is a mysterious look at Manderly in the present, and the second chapter quickly switches to the heroine's memories of how she and Maxim first met in Monte Carlo. She is a traveling companion to Mrs. Van Hopper, a wealthy and gossipy American woman.
Plot (cont'd) In Monte Carlo, the heroine meets Maxim and
after secretly meeting for a couple of weeks, Maxim hastily proposes and she accepts. Maxim takes her back to Manderley, where the memory of his former wife, Rebecca, who died in a sailing accident, is like a looming ghost. The heroine feels like she can never live up to the memory of Rebecca and feels a particular coolness from the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers. The heroine plans a costume ball that is traditionally held at Manderley each year, and she begins to gain confidence. At the suggestion of Mrs. Danvers she wears a costume that resembles one of the potraits hanging in a hallway of Manderly. The night of the ball, the heroine comes downstairs,
excited by her suprise, only to find Maxim in horrified shock and anger. That was the same costume that Rebecca wore the last time she attended the ball. The heroine is upset with Mrs. Danvers and with herself and only further convinced that Maxim is still in love with his former wife. The next day, the heroine hears rockets go off near the cove, signaling that a ship has run aground. Soon, divers have found the wreckage of Rebecca's sailboat, and Rebecca's body is in it. Maxim begins to act strangely, and finally, the heroine learns the truth: Rebecca was actually a wicked woman who had multiple affairs throughout her marriage, including one with Jack Favell, her cousin. On the night she died, Maxim demanded a divorce, and Rebecca refused, confessing that she was pregnant, and that Favell was the father. Maxim was furious and in the heat of his anger shot her and stuck her body in the sailboat, which he set out to sea. The heroine is only relieved to find that Maxim was not still in love with his wife. She is still in love with him and hopes to keep the murder a secret. But holes are later found to have been drilled in the bottom of the boat, and Rebecca's cousin, Favell, is convinced that Rebecca did not kill commit suicide. He begins to accuse Maxim and Colonel Julyan, the local judge, digs deeper into the evidence. He finds that before her death, Rebecca went to visit a Doctor Baker in London. They go to visit the doctor, and he reveals that Rebecca was not at all pregnant, but was suffering from terminal cancer. This becomes the motive for Rebecca's believed suicide, and Maxim is saved. He and the heroine head home, and on the way, find that Mrs. Danvers has disappeared. As they come up over the hill, almost home, they are met with a view of the mansion in flames. Themes Author's Message Love and heartbreak:
Throughout the novel, readers witness the heroine's love for Maxim, yet her constant heartbreak, thinking he is still in love with Rebecca.
In the story, Mrs. Danver's character is important because of her loyalty to Rebecca. This causes her relationship with the heroine to be as cool as it is. Maxim's friend, Frank, is also loyal to the family, not telling the heroine or anyone about the murder of Rebecca.
The entire novel is made up of misunderstandings. The heroine believes Maxim is upset about Rebecca's death because he still loves her, when in reality he is just guilty. I enjoyed Rebecca greatly. It was a little slow in the beginning, but once it started to pick up, the suspense, the mystery, and beautiful descriptions of the sccenery drew me in.
There is always something hidden in the background of the plot, something that the reader can guess at, but never be sure of, until it is finally revealed. I like that this wasn't a traditional love story. The dark, mysterious aspect to it made it more deep and thought provoking than a lot of other books involving romance.
The story was haunting. I could almost picture the large and beautiful Manderley mansion, filled with the memory of love and guilt. This is a book that I am likely not to forget and would recommend to anyone who enjoys a suspenseful mystery with a little bit of gothic romance. Review I think the author's message is that love is not always fairytales and happy endings. Throughout Rebecca, she shows the lies and deceit that marriage can contain, but also the joy and happiness. She shows
that Maxim and the heroine can be
happy in the end, even though
Manderley has gone up in flames. The End. We never actually learn the name of the narrator and protagonist. She is shy and self-conscious young women who meets Maxim de Winter while on a trip to Monte Carlo with her wealthy and gossipy employer, Mrs. Van Hopper.