Daphne Du Maurier`S
“Rebecca” Essay, Research Paper
As Daphne du Maurier finished her novel, she said to herself, “So it was. A finished novel. Title, Rebecca. I wondered if my publisher would think it stupid, overdone. Luckily (for me) he did not. Nor did the readers when it was published.” Little did du Maurier know, her novel ended up becoming a great success. Soon after, Alfred Hitchcock made a film version of Rebecca that soon became an even greater success than the novel itself. There are many opinions as to which version is more effective. I believe that the novel was far more effective that the movie version for a number of reasons.
One of the reasons that I feel that the original novel Rebecca was more effective than the movie version was that I think the novel held suspense in a better way. While reading the novel, my suspense was able to build up more and more as I read further on. The plot seemed to move slowly, without revealing too much information very quickly. It gave me a chance to think for myself what I thought would happen next, which got my imagination working. When watching the movie, I found that each event happened too quickly, which didn’t give me much of a chance to think about what was going on. One example of this is when Rebecca’s boat was discovered. In the novel, each event that happened during that time was explained slowly. Much detail was given and as I read on, my suspense was able to build up while I was waiting to find out what had really happened. In the movie, the events during that time went very quickly, and the information was just thrown at you and then it was over. Also, during the movie, the events kept on happening without any pause which didn’t give you time to think, let alone gather up the information given. In the novel, one important event would happen, giving more information, and then the plot would slow down a bit, allowing me to gather my thoughts and form and idea of what I thought would happen next.
Another reason why I thought the novel was more effective than the movie was that the movie didn’t go into as much detail as the novel did. In the novel, every part of the plot was explained into such detail that I could imagine everything almost to the point that I felt I was right there in the story. Each and every character was explained so well that I could actually see them in my mind. One example of this is when du Maurier explained what Mrs. Davners was like. She was described with such an evil sense of passion that it actually sent a chill up my spine and I was able to feel a dark presence about the story every time her name was mentioned. In the movie, the plot moved very quickly and nothing went into much detail. The characters didn’t have much significance because nothing was really told about them except from what you learned from the initial plot of the story.
The last reason why I believe the novel to be more effective than the movie version of Rebecca is that the novel is able to get my imagination working more effectively. During the novel, things move slowly giving you time to form your own thoughts as to what is happening. The novel also takes more time and hints at things before giving the actual information about the truth to the whole story. This allowed me to use my imagination and add on to what I already knew about the story and then come up with my own idea of what I thought was going to happen. The best example of this is when Maxim was throwing the costume ball. While the protagonist, Mrs. de Winter, was trying to think of a costume, and then Mrs. Davners gave her the idea to use the white gown from the picture of Caroline de Winter, there were little hints that made me realize that there was something that wasn’t being told. I thought it to be very unlikely that Mrs. Davners would help Mrs. de Winter, so I came to the conclusion that something bad was going to come of the whole situation. I was able to use my imagination and form my own ending to the situation. While watching the movie, I wasn’t given the time or the pauses to allow me to imagine anything that would happen. The events just went on occurring without allowing any imagination to be able to be put into it.
These were three of the reasons as to why I think that the novel Rebecca was much more effective than Alfred Hitchcock’s movie version. I feel that suspense, details, and imagination play a large role in entertainment, whether it be book or film. The lack of these in the movie proved the novel to be more effective. If I were to recommend one, I would definantly recommend for someone to read the book rather than watch the movie. I enjoyed being able to do both, and to be given the chance to compare the two, but I think the book is a much better choice.