Rebecca | Study Guide

Daphne du Maurier

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Course Hero. "Rebecca Study Guide." July 28, 2016. Accessed April 20, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Rebecca/.

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Course Hero, "Rebecca Study Guide," July 28, 2016, accessed April 20, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Rebecca/.

Rebecca | Chapter 25-26 | Summary

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Summary

Chapter 25

The narrator and Maxim fear that Dr. Baker will confirm that Rebecca was pregnant with Favell's child. This evidence would make Rebecca's suicide unlikely and provide a motive for Maxim to kill her. They all make plans to visit Dr. Baker the following day.

Chapter 26

The next morning, before they travel to London to visit Dr. Baker, a visit the narrator knows might result in Maxim's arrest, the narrator notices and enjoys the "peace of Manderley"—perhaps because she senses that it will soon be lost.

When they visit Dr. Baker, he tells them that Rebecca was not pregnant and that, in fact, she was unable to have children and had cancer. At the time of her death, Rebecca had only a few months to live. Dr. Baker's testimony that Rebecca was fatally ill suggests that she did, in fact, commit suicide.

Analysis

Du Maurier uses a plot twist in these chapters that brings to light the ambiguous state of her characters' motivation. On the surface, the doctor visit resolves the reason for Rebecca's death. With so little time to live, and the prospect of a painful end, suicide appears more likely. But readers must wonder: Why did she set Maxim up to kill her? Why not simply commit suicide? The story implies that she lied about the pregnancy to cause havoc in the lives of those left behind and assert power over them even after her death.

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