Section A – Background Information
1) In 1907, a popular writer named Daphne Du Maurier was born. She wrote
her first novel, Loving Spirit, in 1931. Other novels that Du Maurier wrote
were Rule Britannia, My Cousin Rachel, The Kings General. The
Scapegoat, Jamaican Inn and many more. Margaret Forester held high
praises for Du Maurier. Forester had said, “No other popular writer
Du Maurier} has so triumphantly defied classification She satisfied all t
questionable criteria of popular fiction, and yet satisfied too, the exact requirements of “real literature”, something very few novelist do.” Daphne Du Maurier died in 1985, at the age of 82. Her novel Rebecca is now considered to be a modern classic.
2) I chose this novel because I had heard wonderful things about it. Someone recommended this novel to me and when I read the back, I could not help myself. The summary on the back made the novel seem so intriguing. The cover design caused a mysterious affect. On the cover is a single house. The sky is very dark and gloomy, but then lightens up near the back of the house. The lonesome houses and dark sky made me wonder about all the mysteries and secrets that waited to be unlocked. The title Rebecca is also quite mysterious because the title is a single word. In no way does it make reference to what may happen. The novel makes me think that I should “expect the unexpected”
Section B – Setting and Plot
1) The setting of Rebecca takes place in Maxims ancient family home. This enormous mansion was called Manderely. Manderely was very well known throughout most of Europe, which was where the novel takes place. The author doesnt specify where in Europe Rebecca takes place. Du Maurier stated that Manderely was driving distance from London, England. Manderely was far away from town. The mansion had beautiful gardens all around it. There were pathways through the forest that lead to Manderelys private beach. There were iron gates that opened up to the long twisted driveway. The beginning of the driveway was surrounded by tress and shrubs. Then the shrubs disappeared to reveal blood red rhododendrons, that East wing and a West wing. The east wing had a morning room, which was where the characters sat after breakfast, an ante room, a library and a large double bedroom. The double bedroom overlooked Manderelys beautiful rose gardens. The west had an even larger room, a gallery and a beautiful banquet hall. The bedroom on the west wing overlooked the ocean. This bedroom was not in use because it was where Rebecca and Maxim slept when Rebecca was alive.
The setting of Rebecca was extremely important. The location of the
mansion being very close to the beach, was very important in Rebeccas
death. The ocean at the beach was where Maxim had killed Rebecca and
sank her boat. If the beach wasnt so close then the murder would have
been different. Also, Manderely is where Rebecca and Maxim live
together before she died. If Maxim and the new Mrs. De Winter hadnt
lived in Manderely, then the new Mrs. De Winter wouldnt have lived in
Manderely and Mrs. De Winder would not have felt like Rebecca was
watching them. In addition, the isolation of Manderely was very important
because it allowed no one to ever know what was going on in Manderely.
No one knew that Maxim killed Rebecca because Manderely was nowhere
Important Events in the Plot
Maxim, a very rich man, meets the future Mrs. de Winter in a hotel in
Maxim marries Mrs. de Winter and they leave Monte Carlo.
The new Mrs. Winter goes to Maderely, Maxims well known mansion,
for the first time.
All the staff and townspeople compare the new Mrs. de Winter to
Rebecca, Maxims first wife. They say how Rebecca was perfect.
Manderely has a fancy dress gall to make people feel like Manderely is
the same as it was before Rebecca died.
Unknowingly, the new Mrs. de Winter wears the same costume Rebecca
wore at Manderelys last ball. She runs upstairs and changes.
Maxim and the new Mrs. de Winter are on the verge of breaking up