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How does Du Maurier create a successful opening to her novel Rebecca?

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Introduction

´╗┐How does Du Maurier create a successful opening to her novel ?Rebecca?? As a reader we are immediately given an insight into a dream which the unknown narrator had the night before, detailing how they travelled around Manderley in ghost form. We discover this is the narrator?s old home, ?I called in my dream to the lodge-keeper?, and a yearning and nostalgia is evident. ?Home? has connotations of being warm and welcoming, but the isolation from the home shows the opposite. ?Padlock and a chain, ?barred?, and ?iron gate? portray the extended metaphor of the narrator being cut off from their house. A sense of loss and mystery grows, heightened by the narrator only giving us vague details concerning their house. ...read more.

Middle

The narrative view doesn?t fit the social context either ? this everyday experience of dreaming appears to bring overwhelming emotions for the narrator. The growing characterisation of the narrator is significant, since as a reader I can feel the growing fear and immediacy as she unravels the destruction of her home lying in ruins. A creepy and spine tingling atmosphere is enforced by ?long tenacious fingers? encroaching the drive. This use of personification shows nature to be eerie and persistently uncontrollable, rather than a positive thing as usually thought. This is further supported by verbs such as ?stealthy, insidious?, which suggests the narrator feels nature is out to get her and envelop her home, and she feels unfamiliar with everything that was once so memorable, as she ?did not recognize? anything. ...read more.

Conclusion

?Our Manderley? is the first indication that somebody else is involved in the novel, and this personal pronoun leaves me wanting to read on and find out who this person may be. The house is portrayed so beautifully, like ?a jewel in the hollow of a hand?, the metaphor suggesting that it?s like hidden treasure. The use of sibilance, ?secretive and silent? shows that this house seemingly acts as a getaway and all is not as it seems. Two descriptors are used at a time, ?narrow and unkept?, ?twisting and turning? etc, which starts to build up a rhythm. Conclusively, the most significant reason why this is a successful opening to the novel is simply because it creates confusion and suspense and makes me as a reader want to read on. ...read more.

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