Rebecca | Study Guide

Daphne du Maurier

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Rebecca | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

rebecca-daphne-du-maurierRebeccaby the NumbersYear Rebecca won the National Book Award1938Copies sold in the first month of publication45,000Hitchcock's first American film and his only Best Picture Oscar win1Rank in the BBC's 2003 Big Read survey of best-loved novels in the United Kingdom14Narrator, Chapter 1ast night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.AuthorDAPHNE DU MAURIER1907–1989Born in London, du Maurier was a novelist, playwright, and honorary Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Rebecca was an immediate hit, but it is sometimes derided by critics as "romantic," a term she deplored.ThemesThe narrator is jealous of the beautiful, mysterious Rebecca.JealousyGood, represented by the newly married de Winters, must confront the evil of the past.Good vs. EvilThe past haunts the new couple's home as they struggle to create a happy marriage.Past vs. PresentMain CharactersRebeccaFirst Mrs. de Winter, whose memory haunts ManderleyMaxim de WinterOwner of Manderley, marries narrator after first wife diesNarratorSecond Mrs. de Winter, young nameless womanMrs. DanversEvil housekeeper, resents narratorRebecca is both romance and mystery, narrated in flashback by its main character, a young woman who remains nameless. Ironically, the name of the woman who haunts the narrator's marriage—and who almost destroys her—echoes through time and graces the cover of the book. Who was Rebecca?Haunted by First Wife's LegacyOVERVIEWThe young narrator arrives as the new wife of Maxim de Winter and is treated cruelly by housekeeper Mrs. Danvers.1. The Arrival2. The BallDanvers coerces the narrator into wearing the same ball gown as the former Mrs. de Winter, horrifying Max.4. The FireMax is cleared of murder charges, but his beloved Manderley burns to the ground.3. The ConfessionMax confesses that pushed to the brink by the manipulative Rebecca, he shot her and sank her body.Daphne du Maurier1938EnglishNovel AuthorYear PublishedOriginal LanguageRebeccaFictionSymbolsNamelessnessThat the narrator remains nameless suggests her unformed identity.The SeaFemale sexuality and power is embodied by the water surrounding Manderley.RhododendronsCrimson flowers, symbolizing Rebecca, grow outside her favorite morning room.ManderleyThe great house hides dark secrets and serves as an anchor to the past.

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