Rebecca Daphne Du Maurier Character Analysis

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The novel depicts the evolution of a simple, lower middle class orphaned young woman into a mature wife capable of living comfortably in an upper class environment. Her development occurs in stages as she reacts to new and challenging experiences brought on by her marriage to Maxim De Winter and the narrator’s encounters with the ghostly presence of his dead wife. Her development actually moves backwards initially as she becomes more and more uncertain about her ability to function in her new marriage and then rapidly moves forward in the second half of the novel as her reaction to various disclosures precipitate her final maturing process. In the following essay how the events caused her initial backwards slide and then jump forward into a…show more content…
Du Maurier’s main focus was not so much on character development but how the characters interacted with each other and responded to their surroundings throughout the course of the novel (“Daphne”). Her works usually consisted of a simple plot line that is made more interesting by using extensive imagery and sometimes combined with a supernatural twist (“Daphne Du Maurier”). Throughout her career she enjoyed a very strong female following (“Daphne”). Women were entranced by her romantic plots, which were actually quite sophisticated and intellectually challenging…show more content…
In stormy weather, a ship sinks off of the coast of Manderley. While seeking to rescue it the remains of Rebecca in her boat are found. This discovery represents a major turning point in the narrator and Maxim’s relationship. As the tension mounts with detectives trying to discover who shot Rebecca, Maxim finally reveals his true feelings about his dead wife (Du Maurier 266). The narrator was totally wrong in her assumptions about Rebecca and finds out that Maxim despised Rebecca for her independence and wicked personality. In light of these disclosures the narrator assumes a new role in not only their relationship but Manderly itself (Nungesser 210). She develops a newfound confidence in her ability to manage the estate and to represent Manderley. She also develops a more intimate relationship with her
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