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The novel Rebecca written by Daphne Du Maurier was an intense, gripping and very enjoyable read.

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Introduction

Tutor Assignment Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier The novel Rebecca written by Daphne Du Maurier was an intense, gripping and very enjoyable read. The story is of classic gothic literature, set in the late nineteenth centaury or early twentieth centaury. The narrator tells the story in flashback, which adds to the mood of the story and makes it more enthralling. Initially this portrays a sense of mystery to the reader as the opening pages are of present tense and we sense a tone of loss, with a tinge of sadness and regret for what has passed. The heroine who tells the story quotes, "There was Manderley, our Manderley, secretive and silent as it has always been". The heroine says this when referring to her dream; there she is haunted by visions of Manderley, her former home. The story is set around Manderley, a grand, yet eerie mansion located within beautiful and ominous landscapes. It is the home of Maxim who was once married to Rebecca the title character, who is now deceased. ...read more.

Middle

The heroine was a companion of Mrs Van Hopper a quite mad, upfront American woman who employed the heroine as a travelling companion. The heroine was much younger and from a different class than Maxim, and she struggled to live up to the memory of his former wife Rebecca. We never learn the heroine's real name at all. Mrs Van Hopper introduces the heroine to Mr De Winters; she implies that he would not be interested in the heroine. We recognize this by the quote; "...waved a vague hand in my direction and mumbled my name..." Not knowing the heroine's name symbolises her search for identity throughout the novel. The heroine is desperately trying to prove she is worthy of her new title Mrs De Winters but finds it hard with everyone, especially Mrs Danvers's the sinister housekeeper of Manderley and former devoted personal maid to Rebecca. As the novel progresses, we learn the truth about Rebecca's death. Maxim confesses to his new wife, who has found it hard to communicate with Maxim about his past, that he murdered Rebecca. ...read more.

Conclusion

Rebecca on the other hand, our feelings have changed from feeling sorry that her life was cut short to feelings that she got what she deserved. The events surrounding her murder are a mystery in itself, as we learn the truth of how Rebecca died, but a greater twist follows. As the truth surrounding Rebecca's death comes to light, Jack Favell is suspicious of his cousin and former lover's death and openly blames Maxim. It is then we find out, through the courts intervention that Rebecca had cancer and was attending a doctor in London. Her cancer was terminal and she had planned to enrage Maxim, knowing he would kill her. This now leads us to a sense of sadness for Rebecca in a way, as even though her behaviour was terrible and she had no respect for Maxim, it shows us that she knew her end was near and this was her escape route from life. The last scenes of the novel are of Manderley alight with flames. The mystery surrounding Maxim's past and Rebecca's death are finally laid to rest. A new beginning has begun for Mr and Mrs De Winters. ...read more.

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