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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 15 - 21 : Nazi overtones?


Choisya wrote:
(SPOILER) 

I have seen critical comment (Sally Beauman I think) that there are Nazi overtones to the novel P...  

..Is there therefore a hint that in going to great lengths to disguise what he had done Maxim is behaving like Hitler, disguising his persecution of the Jews (this was written in 1938 remember) and that he was one of those who had returned from WWI and knew what 'killing and going on living' meant - and how to kill?


Very few people knew about the persecution of  the Jews in 1938. Do we have any proof that DDM had this rare piece of knowledge? And this woman's suggestion that WWI and WWII are reflected here is absurd. Literature and films are replete with woman seeking authoritative father-surrogates. It's why older actors in their 50's and 60's  are paired up in  films with women half their age.

 

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 15 - 21


Everyman wrote:

...  I don't ridicule people here or the positions they take, and I expect the same respect from others. 

 


 

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 15 - 21 : Nazi overtones?


foxycat wrote:

Choisya wrote:
(SPOILER) 

I have seen critical comment (Sally Beauman I think) that there are Nazi overtones to the novel P...  

..Is there therefore a hint that in going to great lengths to disguise what he had done Maxim is behaving like Hitler, disguising his persecution of the Jews (this was written in 1938 remember) and that he was one of those who had returned from WWI and knew what 'killing and going on living' meant - and how to kill?


Very few people knew about the persecution of  the Jews in 1938. Do we have any proof that DDM had this rare piece of knowledge? And this woman's suggestion that WWI and WWII are reflected here is absurd. Literature and films are replete with woman seeking authoritative father-surrogates. It's why older actors in their 50's and 60's  are paired up in  films with women half their age.

 


I agree. Also a man killing his wife to prevent her from humiliating him, telling everyone that that she is pregnant with another man's baby is certainly motive enough ( in literature) for murder. I don't see any anti-Semitism in the book. Lots of murderers try to cover up there crime. No connection with Hitler there, he didn't think anything he did was a crime. Sally Beauman was really reaching with that theory.

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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 15 - 21


debbook wrote:

I don't undersatnd why she trusted Mrs Danvers about choosing a costume for the ball. I saw that disaster a mile away.


   I think she wanted to try to please Mrs. Danvers and become more accepted by her. I think she was too innocent in her nature to suspect that Mrs. Danvers would set her up like this.

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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 15 - 21


debbook wrote:
I think I understand now more than before why Maxim married the narrator. Rebecca was everything that the Narrator is not, cultured, sophisticated and outgoing. But he did not get the person he thought he was getting when he married her. So he would want someone who appears to be the opposite of Rebecca, a wife that will love him, worship him and not treat him the way Rebecca did. Maybe he also wanted someone that wouldn't ask a lot of questions and therefore never need to know his secret.

 

Debbook------I totally agree with you on this. Also,  in the Masterpiece Theater version of the movie, the narrator becomes more and more a favorable choice in my opinion.

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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 15 - 21

[ Edited ]

It was a joke momgee!  Nothing more.  Sorry it misfired:smileysad:.

 


momgee wrote:

How can you possibly construe that this post is an" absurd attack" on you  ?

 

 

 

 


Everyman wrote:

Perhaps others understand why you feel the need to make such a totally absurd attack on me.  Frankly, I don't. I have been trying to discuss this issue honestly, but that was a totally stupid thing to say.  I really thought you were more intelligent and more principled than that.  I'm sorry I'm wrong. 


Choisya wrote:

It is the wildly improbable, totally unrealistic that make it gothic:smileyvery-happy::smileyvery-happy:  We'll see those elements in spades in Udolpho if we read it - as for Walpole:smileysurprised::smileysurprised:

 

 

Everyman wrote:

Necessary plot element. 

 

That's one of the aspects of Rebecca that I find least satisfying.  So many of the elements of the book are wildly improbable, totally unrealistic, and make one just want to say "oh, come on, Daphne, surely you can do better than this!"..... 

 

 

Message Edited by Choisya on 08-14-2008 02:42 PM
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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 15 - 21 : Nazi overtones?

Not at all a rare piece of knowledge over here FC.  The persecution of the Jews was being reported in our newspapers from 1933 onwards and the situation was also discussed in Parliament.  Churchill referred to it in a newspaper article of 1938 which I have quoted on another thread.

 

I just put this interpretation forward as an idea to discuss, not because I agree with it.    

 

 


foxycat wrote:

Choisya wrote:
(SPOILER) 

I have seen critical comment (Sally Beauman I think) that there are Nazi overtones to the novel P...  

..Is there therefore a hint that in going to great lengths to disguise what he had done Maxim is behaving like Hitler, disguising his persecution of the Jews (this was written in 1938 remember) and that he was one of those who had returned from WWI and knew what 'killing and going on living' meant - and how to kill?


Very few people knew about the persecution of  the Jews in 1938. Do we have any proof that DDM had this rare piece of knowledge? And this woman's suggestion that WWI and WWII are reflected here is absurd. Literature and films are replete with woman seeking authoritative father-surrogates. It's why older actors in their 50's and 60's  are paired up in  films with women half their age.

 


 

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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 15 - 21


debbook wrote:

I don't undersatnd why she trusted Mrs Danvers about choosing a costume for the ball. I saw that disaster a mile away.

 


I don't either.  I had real trouble with this.  She was nervous around Mrs. Danvers - afraid of her, and yet takes her advice on the costume - even as to where to have the costume made.  It seemed so out of character for MdW2 - even the way she was teasing Max & the others about her costume prior to the ball.  I do give her a lot of credit for attending the ball afterward.

 


debbook wrote:

 

Its a little disturbing that she seems so relieved that Maxim did not love Rebecca and not upset that he is a murderer. She is so obsessed with Rebecca that finding out Rebecca was not what she thought is more important to her than being married to a murderer. Does she even love Max or does she love that he doesn't love Rebecca?


It is a bit disturbing, especially considering the distance between them since they've been at Manderley.  She does seem to take it in stride that her new husband murdered his last wife - less than a year before he married her.

Liz ♥ ♥


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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 15 - 21


Fozzie wrote:

 

“Would we never be together, he a man and I a woman, standing shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand, with no gulf between us?  I did not want to be a child.  I wanted to be his wife, his mother.  I wanted to be old.”

 

I bring up this quote not to speculate on the physical relationship between Maxim and the narrator, nor to emphasize how young she is and knows it, but to wonder why she wants to be his mother!?!?!?  What in the world…??!?

 

I never suspected that Maxim had killed Rebecca!  Did anyone else?


Perhaps that quote is a counterpart to what she says in Chapter 12:

"You are my father and my brother and my son."   [Page 148]

I don't understand either of those quotes.  Earlier she calls him her father - then says she doesn't want to be his child; she calls him her son & wants to be his mother.  Maybe she's just trying to say she wishes she was as mature as him - but it's not exactly coming out that way.

 

 

I never suspected that Max killed Rebecca either.  What a twist!!  I thought it quite a bit disturbing that admits to murdering his first wife and then igoes into a declaration of love for the second wife (who he married 10 months after the murder, and knowing her for so short a time).  And she's not disturbed by the fact that he did murder his wife except that he may be in trouble with the law.  Instead she's relieved that he isn't still in love with Rebecca and does love her.  It doesn't even cross her mind to think that she's been living with this murderer all this time.  It's very disturbing.

 

And what kind of a man is Max that he stayed married to Rebecca for all that time, living with this arrangement.  Was murdering her really the only way out? 

She sat there, laughhing, her black hair blowing in the wind; she told me about herself, told me things I shall never repeat to a living soul.  I knew then what I had done, what I had married.   [Chapter 20 - page 276]

What possible things could she have told him just days after their wedding that would cause him to feel so strongly?   

She knew I would sacrifice pride, honour, personal feeling, every damned quality on earth, rahter than stand before our little world after a week of marraige and have them know the things about her that she had told me then.     [Chapter 20 - page 277]

It was better to stay in this farce of a marriage?  He made this mistake and preferred to live his life this way.  He talks of his pride - but isn't it her character/reputation that he's really saving with this sacrifice?  It reminds me of that old saying - "You made your bed, now lie in it."  It gives me a different look at his character - not a favorable one either.

Liz ♥ ♥


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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 15 - 21

Evidently her sexual practiceswere considered shocking for 1938.

 

Divorce may have been shocking in Wallis Simpson's background, but I think Max could have gotten away with it.  It was not unheard of among the wealthy.  Did anyone get any clue as to how long they were married? He could have waited a reasonable amount of time and then divorced her.

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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 15 - 21


LizzieAnn wrote:

debbook wrote:

I don't undersatnd why she trusted Mrs Danvers about choosing a costume for the ball. I saw that disaster a mile away.

 


I don't either.  I had real trouble with this.  She was nervous around Mrs. Danvers - afraid of her, and yet takes her advice on the costume - even as to where to have the costume made.  It seemed so out of character for MdW2 - even the way she was teasing Max & the others about her costume prior to the ball.  I do give her a lot of credit for attending the ball afterward.

 


debbook wrote:

 

Its a little disturbing that she seems so relieved that Maxim did not love Rebecca and not upset that he is a murderer. She is so obsessed with Rebecca that finding out Rebecca was not what she thought is more important to her than being married to a murderer. Does she even love Max or does she love that he doesn't love Rebecca?


It is a bit disturbing, especially considering the distance between them since they've been at Manderley.  She does seem to take it in stride that her new husband murdered his last wife - less than a year before he married her.


 

I think that there are several reasons why the narrator probably took Mrs. Danvers' advice about the costume.  First, she believes that Mrs. Danvers knows what Maxim would like; he seems to be satisfied with the way she runs the house, has kept her on after Rebecca died even though she was really primarily Rebecca's servant, she has known Maxim for years, etc.  Also, and to some extent because of this, she wants to get along with Mrs. Danvers.  Mrs. Danvers has not been exactly friendly or welcoming to her, and now she is suddenly acting in a friendly and helpful manner.  Instead of being suspicious, the narrator is happy at this turn in their relationship, and by accepting her help and advice, hopes to further it.  And it really does seem like a perfect suggestion to dress in a beautiful costume as one of Maxim's ancestors, whose portrait is prominently displayed in the gallery.

 

As to why the narrator doesn't seem horrified by Maxim's confession, I think I can understand it, but I'm not sure I can explain it.  She really does love Maxim very much.  When you love someone like that, and they tell you something that normally would make you recoil, instead of doing so, your first impulse is to look for a solution to it so that you can get past it and stay together.  Even though it has been suggested that she is deliberately rejecting motherhood, I think she actually has very strong maternal feelings, and that at this moment, she feels that Maxim needs her and that she can comfort, protect, and take care of him.  She has been waiting for something like this ever since they came to Manderley.  Instead of his being cold and distant, now she can get close to him through this chink in his armor.

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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 15 - 21


foxycat wrote:

Evidently her sexual practiceswere considered shocking for 1938.

 

Divorce may have been shocking in Wallis Simpson's background, but I think Max could have gotten away with it.  It was not unheard of among the wealthy.  Did anyone get any clue as to how long they were married? He could have waited a reasonable amount of time and then divorced her.


 

I wondered whether there may have been drugs involved, as well.  Especially when I read about the scene that Max walked in on at the beach house.  They may have been taking opium or something like that.  Also, I wondered about orgies.  I think he said that there were a half dozen there, but I wasn't sure if he meant all men or a mixed group.

 

I suppose that Maxim may even have been shocked if, upon their marriage, she confessed to him that not only was she not a virgin, but that, on the contrary, she had been quite promiscuous.

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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 15 - 21

The only grounds for divorce would have been adultery FC and in any case it would have been considered a big big scandal in such an old established family (going back to the Norman conquest). Divorce just wasn't the 'done thing'.  It was against the doctrine of the Church of England of which the King was (then) head so it is like going against the King too.  That is why the King courting Wallis Simpson was such a scandal - she had been divorced twice I believe.  Similarly, when Princess Margaret wanted to marry Captain Towsend she was prevented from doing so by the Qeen because he was divorced and that was as late as 1955.

 


foxycat wrote:

Evidently her sexual practiceswere considered shocking for 1938.

 

Divorce may have been shocking in Wallis Simpson's background, but I think Max could have gotten away with it.  It was not unheard of among the wealthy.  Did anyone get any clue as to how long they were married? He could have waited a reasonable amount of time and then divorced her.


 

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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 15 - 21

Good ideas debbook - especially the last sentence!.    

 

 

debbook wrote:
I think I understand now more than before why Maxim married the narrator. Rebecca was everything that the Narrator is not, cultured, sophisticated and outgoing. But he did not get the person he thought he was getting when he married her. So he would want someone who appears to be the opposite of Rebecca, a wife that will love him, worship him and not treat him the way Rebecca did. Maybe he also wanted someone that wouldn't ask a lot of questions and therefore never need to know his secret.


 

 


 

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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 15 - 21

I don't know. I can't imagine how a new wife can be so blase about her husband saying, after few months of marriage, "by the way, dear, as it happens I murdered my first wife."  

 

Many here are women, and certainly some have been or are wives.  Would you really take that comment in stride from your newly married husband?

 

[Since I basically agree with foxy and others, the post being responded to has been pared down to relevant passages.  To see the entire post, use the View Discussion in Popup option.]



As to why the narrator doesn't seem horrified by Maxim's confession, I think I can understand it, but I'm not sure I can explain it.  She really does love Maxim very much.  When you love someone like that, and they tell you something that normally would make you recoil, instead of doing so, your first impulse is to look for a solution to it so that you can get past it and stay together.  Even though it has been suggested that she is deliberately rejecting motherhood, I think she actually has very strong maternal feelings, and that at this moment, she feels that Maxim needs her and that she can comfort, protect, and take care of him.  She has been waiting for something like this ever since they came to Manderley.  Instead of his being cold and distant, now she can get close to him through this chink in his armor.


 

 

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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 15 - 21


dulcinea3 wrote:in part

 

As to why the narrator doesn't seem horrified by Maxim's confession, I think I can understand it, but I'm not sure I can explain it.  She really does love Maxim very much.  When you love someone like that, and they tell you something that normally would make you recoil, instead of doing so, your first impulse is to look for a solution to it so that you can get past it and stay together.  Even though it has been suggested that she is deliberately rejecting motherhood, I think she actually has very strong maternal feelings, and that at this moment, she feels that Maxim needs her and that she can comfort, protect, and take care of him.  She has been waiting for something like this ever since they came to Manderley.  Instead of his being cold and distant, now she can get close to him through this chink in his armor.


I remember reading that on a couple of other posts but I can't find them. Why do people think she was rejecting motherhood? I know she had a brief conversation where Beatrice brought it up but it appeared more that she was uncomfortable discussing personal issues, especially as she probably didn't know if Maxim wanted kids or not. Just wondering.

 

I agree that she was waiting for "a chink in his armor" so to speak. But a murderer, that is some chink!!

 

 

I see why Maxim would not have divorced Rebecca, the humiliation would have been too much for his pride, his reputation. But I don't think he planned to murder her, it seemed more in the heat of anger.

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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 15 - 21 SPOILER

[ Edited ]

SPOILER   'Rejecting motherhood' is part of the gothic vocabularly Deb but I think I was incorrect in posting that she 'deliberately' did so.  What transpires is that because of the lifestyle they eventually led, they had no children so motherhood is rejected but perhaps not deliberately.  If that makes sense:smileysurprised:.  

 

Is using a gun to kill a person done in 'heat and anger' or is it usually considered to be premeditated?  We don't have many domestic murders/'crimes of passion' using guns over here so I don't really know how likely it is that Maxim could have murdered Rebecca in 'heat and anger'.  If they had had a physical fight and he had, say, strangled her, I think this could have been seen as a crime of passion/in heat and anger, but I am not sure about the use of a gun?   

 

I also do not understand how, when the body was found, they did not see that she had been shot and yet returned a verdict of suicide?  Surely there would have been a bullet wound even though Maxim says (when explaiing the murder to The Narrator) 'the bullet passed right through her'. 

 

As for the Narrator accepting his story and continuing to love him etc. I do not find this surprising. There are many examples of women who 'stand by their man' in extreme circumstances - prisons are full of murderers, sex offenders etc. whose wives and families visit them regularly, and continue to deny their innocence. 

 


debbook wrote:

dulcinea3 wrote:in part

 

As to why the narrator doesn't seem horrified by Maxim's confession, I think I can understand it, but I'm not sure I can explain it.  She really does love Maxim very much.  When you love someone like that, and they tell you something that normally would make you recoil, instead of doing so, your first impulse is to look for a solution to it so that you can get past it and stay together.  Even though it has been suggested that she is deliberately rejecting motherhood, I think she actually has very strong maternal feelings, and that at this moment, she feels that Maxim needs her and that she can comfort, protect, and take care of him.  She has been waiting for something like this ever since they came to Manderley.  Instead of his being cold and distant, now she can get close to him through this chink in his armor.


I remember reading that on a couple of other posts but I can't find them. Why do people think she was rejecting motherhood? I know she had a brief conversation where Beatrice brought it up but it appeared more that she was uncomfortable discussing personal issues, especially as she probably didn't know if Maxim wanted kids or not. Just wondering.

 

I agree that she was waiting for "a chink in his armor" so to speak. But a murderer, that is some chink!!

 

 

I see why Maxim would not have divorced Rebecca, the humiliation would have been too much for his pride, his reputation. But I don't think he planned to murder her, it seemed more in the heat of anger.


 

Message Edited by Choisya on 08-14-2008 06:38 PM
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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 15 - 21 SPOILER


Choisya wrote:

SPOILER   'Rejecting motherhood' is part of the gothic vocabularly Deb but I think I was incorrect in posting that she 'deliberately' did so.  What transpires is that because of the lifestyle they eventually led, they had no children so motherhood is rejected but perhaps not deliberately.  If that makes sense:smileysurprised:.  

 

Is using a gun to kill a person done in 'heat and anger' or is it usually considered to be premeditated?  We don't have many domestic murders/'crimes of passion' using guns over here so I don't really know how likely it is that Maxim could have murdered Rebecca in 'heat and anger'.  If they had had a physical fight and he had, say, strangled her, I think this could have been seen as a crime of passion/in heat and anger, but I am not sure about the use of a gun?   

 

I also do not understand how, when the body was found, they did not see that she had been shot and yet returned a verdict of suicide?  Surely there would have been a bullet wound even though Maxim says (when explaiing the murder to The Narrator) 'the bullet passed right through her'. 

 

As for the Narrator accepting his story and continuing to love him etc. I do not find this surprising. There are many examples of women who 'stand by their man' in extreme circumstances - prisons are full of murderers, sex offenders etc. whose wives and families visit them regularly, and continue to deny their innocence. 

 


debbook wrote:

dulcinea3 wrote:in part

 

As to why the narrator doesn't seem horrified by Maxim's confession, I think I can understand it, but I'm not sure I can explain it.  She really does love Maxim very much.  When you love someone like that, and they tell you something that normally would make you recoil, instead of doing so, your first impulse is to look for a solution to it so that you can get past it and stay together.  Even though it has been suggested that she is deliberately rejecting motherhood, I think she actually has very strong maternal feelings, and that at this moment, she feels that Maxim needs her and that she can comfort, protect, and take care of him.  She has been waiting for something like this ever since they came to Manderley.  Instead of his being cold and distant, now she can get close to him through this chink in his armor.


I remember reading that on a couple of other posts but I can't find them. Why do people think she was rejecting motherhood? I know she had a brief conversation where Beatrice brought it up but it appeared more that she was uncomfortable discussing personal issues, especially as she probably didn't know if Maxim wanted kids or not. Just wondering.

 

I agree that she was waiting for "a chink in his armor" so to speak. But a murderer, that is some chink!!

 

 

I see why Maxim would not have divorced Rebecca, the humiliation would have been too much for his pride, his reputation. But I don't think he planned to murder her, it seemed more in the heat of anger.


 

Message Edited by Choisya on 08-14-2008 06:38 PM

 

A premeditated murder would be determined by intent not by the weapon of choice, though that certainly gives an indication. Maxim says that he went to the beach house with a gun to scare Rebecca and her lover. That may be true, it may be not. Of course, Rebecca really was goading him. Of course later we find out why, but usually you don't want to anger omeone with a gun. Guns were probably very common at that time, everyone would have had a pistol, so its not unusual that he would have one and want to use it to threaten. Maybe he planned on killing her lover, which might have been considered "acceptable" at that time.

 

Good point about the bullet hole! They didn't have CSI back then but still. Wait, I just re-read that part where they describe the body  " It was dissolved, of course, there was no flesh on it ". It wouldn't be too difficult to shoot someone and not hit a bone. That's why they never knew.

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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 15 - 21 SPOILER

I also do not understand how, when the body was found, they did not see that she had been shot and yet returned a verdict of suicide?  Surely there would have been a bullet wound even though Maxim says (when explaiing the murder to The Narrator) 'the bullet passed right through her'.

 

The body had been in the water for, what, about a year by then?  It would have been significantly degraded.  And forensic techniques in 1938 weren't what they are now; a hole clean through the body in a body badly degraded might very well look like the effects of some marine worms or fishes doing their bit. 

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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 15 - 21 SPOILER

Good point about the bullet hole! They didn't have CSI back then but still. Wait, I just re-read that part where they describe the body  " It was dissolved, of course, there was no flesh on it ". It wouldn't be too difficult to shoot someone and not hit a bone. That's why they never knew.

 

Which raises the question, how did they know it was Rebecca? How could Maxim identify a mere skeleton?  The fact that the body was on R's boat is suggestive, but certainly not proof.  She used to have many parties down there in the cottage; couldn't she have gone out with a lesbian lover, had a quarrel, killed her and then swum off but gotten drowned and be the actual body initially identified as Rebecca?

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