Rebecca By Daphne Du Maurier Essay, Research Paper
The book Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier is a narrative that takes the form of a flashback. The main character, Mrs. Maxim de Winter,begins the story remebering her beautiful home Manderley. Her flashback begins with the memories of how she and Maxin de Winter first met, in Monte Carlo years before. They met while she was traveling with the wealthy Mrs. Van Hooper. Maxim was staying at the same hotel and they began to meet eachother. After knowing her for only a few weeks, Maxim proposes marriage. She accepts and he takes her back to his ancestral estate of Manderley. The new Mrs. de Winter begins hearing about Rebecca, Maxim’s first wife, who drowned in a cove near Manderley the previous year. Rebecca’s devoted housekeeper, the sinister Mrs. Danvers, is still in charge of Manderley, and she frightens and intimidates her new mistress. Mrs. de Winter stuggles in her new life at Manderley. She feels like she could never compare to Rebecca, who was beautiful, talented and brilliant. Soon she feels that Maxim is still inlove with his dead wife. Mrs. Danver’s suggests to Mrs. de Winter that she wear a costume to their annual costume ball. It turns out, that it was the dress Rebecca wore to the ball last year. Maxim is horrified when he sees her. She becomes convinced that he will never love her and he is still devoted to Rebecca. Mrs Danvers almost comvinces her to kill herself, and she only breaks away from the old woman’s spell when rockets go off by the cove, signaling that a ship has run aground. Divers find wreckage of Rebecca’s sailboat, with Rebecca’s dead body in the hold. This discovery prompts Maxim to tell her the truth. He tells her that Rebecca was a malevolent, wicked women, who was having affairs. One of which was with her cousin, Jack Favell. On the night of her death, Maxim had demanded a divorce. Rebecca 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. The coroner delivers a report of suicide, rather than murder. Soon Rebecca’s cousin Favell, certain that she did not kill herself, accuses Maxim of the crime. Maxim is saved by the discovery that Rebecca was dying of cancer, a motive for her suicide. In the end, Mr. and Mrs. de Winter drive back to Manderley to find Mrs. Danver’s had disappeared and Manderley in flames.
Du Maurier, Daphne. Rebecca. New York: Avon Books, 1971.