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Re: REBECCA: novel, romance, etc...

debbook wrote:  Beatrice in fact does have a child, Roger who is about to go off to Oxford.

 

Good catch.  

 

Do we know that Maxim becomes an invalid?

 

I don't think so, at least from the book as published.   You're right that she reads to him, but that's not unusual for old married couples.  Maybe his eyesight isn't what it was??

 

 We don't really know that they never had children. They may be grown and off at school by the time the Narrator is reflecting back.

 

True, though my guess would be that DuM thought not, or there would have been something said.  But as you say, it's certainly possible.  If they had had them, the children would have been raised abroad, in hotels, which would be a strange life for a child.  Maybe they would have been sent back to England for boarding school as many British expats beteen the wars did.

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Re: REBECCA: novel, romance, etc... -- Klutzy vs Mousy

Choisya -- way back somewhere you asked about "mousy" versus "klutzy" for describing the 2MdW.    I don't remember a response, so let me comment here that I think "klutzy" referred to experiences like knocking over the vase at the table in Monte Carlo, dropping her gloves when she arrived at Manderley, and breaking the valuable, fragile, and antique cupid in the morning room.  (Side question -- does DdM sustain this quirk of personality throughout the book?  She certainly uses it to set up situations early in the story.)

 

"Mousy"  in the on-line unabridged is paired with timid, lacking in boldness or, in another definition, with quiet or stealthy.  We also see such behavior on the part of the 2MdW.

"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: novel, romance, etc... -- Fire

[ Edited ]
:smileysurprised: :smileyvery-happy:  Or flint and steel? :smileywink:

vivico1 wrote:

Yeah you're right. But who had the dang matches??!! :smileywink:

 


 dulcinea3 wrote:

 

I don't know about that. Based on my interpretation of the novel, it was Miss Scarlet with the rope in the conservatory. So we're back where we started - nothing is certain!:smileytongue:

 

Message Edited by Peppermill on 08-19-2008 10:03 PM
"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: novel, romance, etc... -- Fire

AHA! now we know! It was Mrs White, in the observatory with the STEEL pipe!! She used it to murder with and to set the fire! I never did trust her you know. Always busy around the mansion, always dusting!

 


Peppermill wrote:
:smileysurprised: :smileyvery-happy: Or flint and steel? :smileywink:

vivico1 wrote:

Yeah you're right. But who had the dang matches??!! :smileywink:

 


dulcinea3 wrote:

 

I don't know about that. Based on my interpretation of the novel, it was Miss Scarlet with the rope in the conservatory. So we're back where we started - nothing is certain!:smileytongue:

 

Message Edited by Peppermill on 08-19-2008 10:03 PM

 

 

Vivian
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Re: Rebecca and Desdemona

[ Edited ]

Article about Rebecca and Desdemona.

 

I am reading this article and finding parts of it very interesting. Though I'm not convinced by all the parallels with Othello , the writer offers good insights into Rebecca. As it is a very long article, I'm going to paste the paragraphs I like best.

Highlighting in the text is mine.

 

"Rebecca as Desdemona" by Kathleen Butterley Nigro.

 

The common assumption about Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca figures the first Mrs. de Winter as a secretly conniving manipulator who had convinced the world that she was as morally flawless as she was beautiful. According to the second Mrs. de Winter, the narrator of the novel, Maxim murdered Rebecca justifiably: only he knew the true, corrupt Rebecca. What if, however, Maxim is the one who is lying, and Rebecca was as good as reputation held her

 

 

About this first paragraph, I was struck by the fact that nobody ever makes any comment about Rebecca's goodness: only about her charm, her great beauty, her breeding, what a competent hostess she was...

Nobody says that she was a good friend, that she was involved in charity for example, that she did anything for anybody... She was perfect for the superficial world in which she lived, but even those who "loved" her, like Mrs Danvers, fail to give any reason that has to do with any personal qualities she might have had.

 

 

Joanna Russ writes that another characteristic of the "passive protagonists" is that they "can be unknowingly involved in some family/criminal secret" (1983, 49). The notion of secrecy pervades both the novel and the play 5 In the narrator's initial nightmare, Manderley is "secretive and silent"; Maxim never reveals his thoughts to her and keeps his "secret troubles" to himself. Allan Lloyd Smith writes of two aspects of the secrets in Rebecca: one is that the aristocracy, represented by Rebecca who possessed "breeding, brains, and beauty" was really corrupt underneath (1992, 305). "I put Manderley first, before anything else," Maxim tells the narrator, explaining his motivation for murdering his first wife (du Maurier 1971, 273-74). She responds in support of him, exonerating his guilt about the secret and still offering her love, the appropriate reaction for the "fully socialized adult female," according to Smith (1992, 305).

(...)

The other "hidden" element is the "murderous response of a fully socialized adult male to the sexual freedom of his wife" (Smith 1992, 305).6 This incident reflects the response to a threat to the "patriarchal heritage" of Manderley However, it is interesting that when Doctor Baker is finally located to reveal the medical condition of Rebecca, he reports that she had a malformation of the uterus and could not have produced children anyway7 Not only does this reinforce that aspect of female Gothics outlined by Juliann Fleenor concerning a negative feeling toward female reproduction, it also implies an unhealthiness in the social state: once the narrator believes that Rebecca was "evil and vicious and rotten" (du Maurier1971, 284), her personal feelings of inadequacy are erased.

(...)

The references to secrecy reinforced by the lock and key imagery in Othello and in Rebecca's now-unlocked cottage*support Juliann Fleenor's assertion that female Gothics explore attempts to enclose the heroine both literally and psychologically.

In addition to the locked room, according to Fleenor, the ruined castle is a typical Gothic setting in which the entrapment of the heroine takes place (1983,15). Manderley is not ruined, of course, until the final scene of the novel, but the idea of its being enchanted frames the narrator's memory. As a dreamer, she walks "enchanted" through the grounds of Manderley; the night of the ball Manderley is "an enchanted house . . . bewitched." During the novel's final days, the narrator feels as though it is invulnerable: "No one would ever hurt Manderley It would lie always in its hollow like an enchanted thing, guarded by the woods, safe, secure . . . ." (du Maurier 1971, 357)

(...)

* Maxim says that the cottage as no business being unlocked.

 

 

In both works, the men respond to a catalyst that feeds their jealousy. In Othello, that catalyst is Iago. He goads Othello with the persistent mention of the handkerchief, and the image of Desdemona and Cassio in bed together, "naked with her friend in bed / An hour or more" (perhaps a jab at the "honor" of Othello's virility) drives Othello to distraction: "It is hypocrisy against the Devil" (4.1.3-6). In Rebecca, the destructive catalyst is Mrs. Danvers, who subtly* induces the narrator to dress as Caroline de Winter in the same costume as Rebecca had worn at the last dress ball. She realizes that Mrs. Danvers had manipulated the entire scene: "I shall never forget the expression on her face, loathsome, triumphant. The face of an exulting devil" (du Maurier 1971, 214). The devil imagery that recurs in both works of course increases the atmosphere of mystery but, even more, it emphasizes the character doubling and the sense of terror that oppresses both the narrator and Desdemona.

In Othello, Desdemona feels that her husband is transformed with anger and it frightens her because he is no longer recognizable to her: "Upon my knees, what doth your speech import? / I understand a fury in your words, But not the words" (4.2.31-32). Desdemona places herself in a completely submissive position to Othello, just as the narrator does at the dress ball, after she has displeased Maxim with her costume. "His face was a mask, his smile was not his own," and he will not speak to her: "We were like two performers in a play, but we were divided, we were not acting with one another" (du Maurier 1971, 225). In both instances, a sense of terror motivates the women to humble themselves completely and drives any other thought from their minds.

 

* I have written in another post that I found that Mrs Danvers' hints were anything but subtle.

 

 

Rebecca and Desdemona

Message Edited by opheliainfrance on 08-20-2008 09:07 AM
Message Edited by opheliainfrance on 08-20-2008 09:07 AM
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Re: Rebecca and Desdemona

Great post again Ophelia - I think we have mentioned in passing a lot of what is opined here but the comparison to Desdemona/Othello is new.  

 

I agree that 'that the aristocracy, represented by Rebecca who possessed "breeding, brains, and beauty" was really corrupt underneath' and as I have posted elsewhere, the affair between the Prince of Wales and Mrs Wallis Simpson exposed the underside of royalty at this time. There were quite a lot of reports in the press about the 'goings on' including drug taking, of members of the royal family and other aristocrats in the 30s. It was one of the reasons behind the rise of the Labour Party, who championed the rights of the working man and exposed the corruptions in 'society' life. 
There was also an undercurrent of corruption in Du Maurier's family life, especially in her relationship to her father.

 

 

 

 


opheliainfrance wrote:

Article about Rebecca and Desdemona.

 

I am reading this article and finding parts of it very interesting. Though I'm not convinced by all the parallels with Othello , the writer offers good insights into Rebecca. As it is a very long article, I'm going to paste the paragraphs I like best.

Highlighting in the text is mine.

 

"Rebecca as Desdemona" by Kathleen Butterley Nigro.

 

The common assumption about Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca figures the first Mrs. de Winter as a secretly conniving manipulator who had convinced the world that she was as morally flawless as she was beautiful. According to the second Mrs. de Winter, the narrator of the novel, Maxim murdered Rebecca justifiably: only he knew the true, corrupt Rebecca. What if, however, Maxim is the one who is lying, and Rebecca was as good as reputation held her

 

 

About this first paragraph, I was struck by the fact that nobody ever makes any comment about Rebecca's goodness: only about her charm, her great beauty, her breeding, what a competent hostess she was...

Nobody says that she was a good friend, that she was involved in charity for example, that she did anything for anybody... She was perfect for the superficial world in which she lived, but even those who "loved" her, like Mrs Danvers, fail to give any reason that has to do with any personal qualities she might have had.

 

 

Joanna Russ writes that another characteristic of the "passive protagonists" is that they "can be unknowingly involved in some family/criminal secret" (1983, 49). The notion of secrecy pervades both the novel and the play 5 In the narrator's initial nightmare, Manderley is "secretive and silent"; Maxim never reveals his thoughts to her and keeps his "secret troubles" to himself. Allan Lloyd Smith writes of two aspects of the secrets in Rebecca: one is that the aristocracy, represented by Rebecca who possessed "breeding, brains, and beauty" was really corrupt underneath (1992, 305). "I put Manderley first, before anything else," Maxim tells the narrator, explaining his motivation for murdering his first wife (du Maurier 1971, 273-74). She responds in support of him, exonerating his guilt about the secret and still offering her love, the appropriate reaction for the "fully socialized adult female," according to Smith (1992, 305).

(...)

The other "hidden" element is the "murderous response of a fully socialized adult male to the sexual freedom of his wife" (Smith 1992, 305).6 This incident reflects the response to a threat to the "patriarchal heritage" of Manderley However, it is interesting that when Doctor Baker is finally located to reveal the medical condition of Rebecca, he reports that she had a malformation of the uterus and could not have produced children anyway7 Not only does this reinforce that aspect of female Gothics outlined by Juliann Fleenor concerning a negative feeling toward female reproduction, it also implies an unhealthiness in the social state: once the narrator believes that Rebecca was "evil and vicious and rotten" (du Maurier1971, 284), her personal feelings of inadequacy are erased.

(...)

The references to secrecy reinforced by the lock and key imagery in Othello and in Rebecca's now-unlocked cottage*support Juliann Fleenor's assertion that female Gothics explore attempts to enclose the heroine both literally and psychologically.

In addition to the locked room, according to Fleenor, the ruined castle is a typical Gothic setting in which the entrapment of the heroine takes place (1983,15). Manderley is not ruined, of course, until the final scene of the novel, but the idea of its being enchanted frames the narrator's memory. As a dreamer, she walks "enchanted" through the grounds of Manderley; the night of the ball Manderley is "an enchanted house . . . bewitched." During the novel's final days, the narrator feels as though it is invulnerable: "No one would ever hurt Manderley It would lie always in its hollow like an enchanted thing, guarded by the woods, safe, secure . . . ." (du Maurier 1971, 357)

(...)

* Maxim says that the cottage as no business being unlocked.

 

 

In both works, the men respond to a catalyst that feeds their jealousy. In Othello, that catalyst is Iago. He goads Othello with the persistent mention of the handkerchief, and the image of Desdemona and Cassio in bed together, "naked with her friend in bed / An hour or more" (perhaps a jab at the "honor" of Othello's virility) drives Othello to distraction: "It is hypocrisy against the Devil" (4.1.3-6). In Rebecca, the destructive catalyst is Mrs. Danvers, who subtly* induces the narrator to dress as Caroline de Winter in the same costume as Rebecca had worn at the last dress ball. She realizes that Mrs. Danvers had manipulated the entire scene: "I shall never forget the expression on her face, loathsome, triumphant. The face of an exulting devil" (du Maurier 1971, 214). The devil imagery that recurs in both works of course increases the atmosphere of mystery but, even more, it emphasizes the character doubling and the sense of terror that oppresses both the narrator and Desdemona.

In Othello, Desdemona feels that her husband is transformed with anger and it frightens her because he is no longer recognizable to her: "Upon my knees, what doth your speech import? / I understand a fury in your words, But not the words" (4.2.31-32). Desdemona places herself in a completely submissive position to Othello, just as the narrator does at the dress ball, after she has displeased Maxim with her costume. "His face was a mask, his smile was not his own," and he will not speak to her: "We were like two performers in a play, but we were divided, we were not acting with one another" (du Maurier 1971, 225). In both instances, a sense of terror motivates the women to humble themselves completely and drives any other thought from their minds.

 

* I have written in another post that I found that Mrs Danvers' hints were anything but subtle.

 

 

 

Rebecca and Desdemona

 

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Re: Rebecca and Desdemona

Very interest, Ophelia.  Thanks for posting.

 

From your post and the little from the article I have skimmed, I am also skeptical.  The problem, I think, is that by careful selection one could make such a comparison with many, many female characters from literature (and perhaps many from history).  Of course, there aren't that many who were killed by their husbands, but you could, for example, cite Agamemnon's wife Clytemnestra, who made sure to kill him before he got the chance to kill her.  

 


opheliainfrance wrote:

Article about Rebecca and Desdemona.

 

I am reading this article and finding parts of it very interesting. Though I'm not convinced by all the parallels with Othello , the writer offers good insights into Rebecca. As it is a very long article, I'm going to paste the paragraphs I like best.

Highlighting in the text is mine.

 

"Rebecca as Desdemona" by Kathleen Butterley Nigro.

 

The common assumption about Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca figures the first Mrs. de Winter as a secretly conniving manipulator who had convinced the world that she was as morally flawless as she was beautiful. According to the second Mrs. de Winter, the narrator of the novel, Maxim murdered Rebecca justifiably: only he knew the true, corrupt Rebecca. What if, however, Maxim is the one who is lying, and Rebecca was as good as reputation held her

 

 

About this first paragraph, I was struck by the fact that nobody ever makes any comment about Rebecca's goodness: only about her charm, her great beauty, her breeding, what a competent hostess she was...

Nobody says that she was a good friend, that she was involved in charity for example, that she did anything for anybody... She was perfect for the superficial world in which she lived, but even those who "loved" her, like Mrs Danvers, fail to give any reason that has to do with any personal qualities she might have had.

 

 

Joanna Russ writes that another characteristic of the "passive protagonists" is that they "can be unknowingly involved in some family/criminal secret" (1983, 49). The notion of secrecy pervades both the novel and the play 5 In the narrator's initial nightmare, Manderley is "secretive and silent"; Maxim never reveals his thoughts to her and keeps his "secret troubles" to himself. Allan Lloyd Smith writes of two aspects of the secrets in Rebecca: one is that the aristocracy, represented by Rebecca who possessed "breeding, brains, and beauty" was really corrupt underneath (1992, 305). "I put Manderley first, before anything else," Maxim tells the narrator, explaining his motivation for murdering his first wife (du Maurier 1971, 273-74). She responds in support of him, exonerating his guilt about the secret and still offering her love, the appropriate reaction for the "fully socialized adult female," according to Smith (1992, 305).

(...)

The other "hidden" element is the "murderous response of a fully socialized adult male to the sexual freedom of his wife" (Smith 1992, 305).6 This incident reflects the response to a threat to the "patriarchal heritage" of Manderley However, it is interesting that when Doctor Baker is finally located to reveal the medical condition of Rebecca, he reports that she had a malformation of the uterus and could not have produced children anyway7 Not only does this reinforce that aspect of female Gothics outlined by Juliann Fleenor concerning a negative feeling toward female reproduction, it also implies an unhealthiness in the social state: once the narrator believes that Rebecca was "evil and vicious and rotten" (du Maurier1971, 284), her personal feelings of inadequacy are erased.

(...)

The references to secrecy reinforced by the lock and key imagery in Othello and in Rebecca's now-unlocked cottage*support Juliann Fleenor's assertion that female Gothics explore attempts to enclose the heroine both literally and psychologically.

In addition to the locked room, according to Fleenor, the ruined castle is a typical Gothic setting in which the entrapment of the heroine takes place (1983,15). Manderley is not ruined, of course, until the final scene of the novel, but the idea of its being enchanted frames the narrator's memory. As a dreamer, she walks "enchanted" through the grounds of Manderley; the night of the ball Manderley is "an enchanted house . . . bewitched." During the novel's final days, the narrator feels as though it is invulnerable: "No one would ever hurt Manderley It would lie always in its hollow like an enchanted thing, guarded by the woods, safe, secure . . . ." (du Maurier 1971, 357)

(...)

* Maxim says that the cottage as no business being unlocked.

 

 

In both works, the men respond to a catalyst that feeds their jealousy. In Othello, that catalyst is Iago. He goads Othello with the persistent mention of the handkerchief, and the image of Desdemona and Cassio in bed together, "naked with her friend in bed / An hour or more" (perhaps a jab at the "honor" of Othello's virility) drives Othello to distraction: "It is hypocrisy against the Devil" (4.1.3-6). In Rebecca, the destructive catalyst is Mrs. Danvers, who subtly* induces the narrator to dress as Caroline de Winter in the same costume as Rebecca had worn at the last dress ball. She realizes that Mrs. Danvers had manipulated the entire scene: "I shall never forget the expression on her face, loathsome, triumphant. The face of an exulting devil" (du Maurier 1971, 214). The devil imagery that recurs in both works of course increases the atmosphere of mystery but, even more, it emphasizes the character doubling and the sense of terror that oppresses both the narrator and Desdemona.

In Othello, Desdemona feels that her husband is transformed with anger and it frightens her because he is no longer recognizable to her: "Upon my knees, what doth your speech import? / I understand a fury in your words, But not the words" (4.2.31-32). Desdemona places herself in a completely submissive position to Othello, just as the narrator does at the dress ball, after she has displeased Maxim with her costume. "His face was a mask, his smile was not his own," and he will not speak to her: "We were like two performers in a play, but we were divided, we were not acting with one another" (du Maurier 1971, 225). In both instances, a sense of terror motivates the women to humble themselves completely and drives any other thought from their minds.

 

* I have written in another post that I found that Mrs Danvers' hints were anything but subtle.

 

 

Rebecca and Desdemona

Message Edited by opheliainfrance on 08-20-2008 09:07 AM
Message Edited by opheliainfrance on 08-20-2008 09:07 AM

 

 

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Re: Rebecca and Desdemona

[ Edited ]

Very interesting posts, Orphelia and Choisya.  I have just finished reading each of the articles in their entirety.  Thanks for the research and for sharing!

 


Choisya wrote (excerpt leaving basically only the link):
There was also an undercurrent of corruption in Du Maurier's family life, especially in her relationship to her father.

opheliainfrance wrote (excerpt leaving basically only the link):

Article about Rebecca and Desdemona.

 

Rebecca and Desdemona



 

 

Message Edited by Peppermill on 08-20-2008 02:10 PM
"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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REBECCA: Chapters 22 - 27 and the Novel as a Whole

Finally was able to push myself to finish Rebecca.  I know I'm in the minority here, but I just wasn't that crazy about it.  It bothers me that the author wants me to accept that Max is able to murder his first wife and get away with it legally.  I understand that he's suffered in others ways - and the loss of Manderley & the nomadic life they must now lead can be considered punishment.  Yet, to all intents and purposes - he got away with murder. 

 

Yes, Rebecca is painted as an extremely evil & cruel person, but does that mean Max is justified in what he's done.  After all, it was his pride as much as Rebecca's actions that put these events in motion.  I find this as difficult to accept as it was to accept the fact that the narrator takes Max's confession as proof that he must be in love with her and not Rebecca. 

 

Again, this is just my opinion, but I didn't find the novel as satisfactory as I had anticipated.

Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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Laurel
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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 22 - 27 and the Novel as a Whole

Lizzie, I feel the same way as you. We may be accused of being prissy moralizers, but that's okay. I do believe in certain standards of right and wrong, and the "I'll help you get away with it and we'll live happily ever after" ending spoils the book for me. That being said, it is a page-turner and, I think, very poetically written in places. And I have read it twice, the first time many years ago.

 


LizzieAnn wrote:

Finally was able to push myself to finish Rebecca.  I know I'm in the minority here, but I just wasn't that crazy about it.  It bothers me that the author wants me to accept that Max is able to murder his first wife and get away with it legally.  I understand that he's suffered in others ways - and the loss of Manderley & the nomadic life they must now lead can be considered punishment.  Yet, to all intents and purposes - he got away with murder. 

 

Yes, Rebecca is painted as an extremely evil & cruel person, but does that mean Max is justified in what he's done.  After all, it was his pride as much as Rebecca's actions that put these events in motion.  I find this as difficult to accept as it was to accept the fact that the narrator takes Max's confession as proof that he must be in love with her and not Rebecca. 

 

Again, this is just my opinion, but I didn't find the novel as satisfactory as I had anticipated.


 

 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 22 - 27 and the Novel as a Whole

I take your point Lizzie Ann but folks do get away with murder. I don't know that it was legal - this is left rather open after the inquest and I rather thought that their exile was because they daren't go back to England in case some other evidence crops up and there is a post mortem or whatever.   I don't see them as having 'got away with it' because I think they are leading a very miserable, boring life where she daren't talk to him of anything but cricket scores and sport and where she has to read secretly about the England she loves in case she upsets him. 

 

 

 


LizzieAnn wrote:

Finally was able to push myself to finish Rebecca.  I know I'm in the minority here, but I just wasn't that crazy about it.  It bothers me that the author wants me to accept that Max is able to murder his first wife and get away with it legally.  I understand that he's suffered in others ways - and the loss of Manderley & the nomadic life they must now lead can be considered punishment.  Yet, to all intents and purposes - he got away with murder. 

 

Yes, Rebecca is painted as an extremely evil & cruel person, but does that mean Max is justified in what he's done.  After all, it was his pride as much as Rebecca's actions that put these events in motion.  I find this as difficult to accept as it was to accept the fact that the narrator takes Max's confession as proof that he must be in love with her and not Rebecca. 

 

Again, this is just my opinion, but I didn't find the novel as satisfactory as I had anticipated.


 

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REBECCA: Chapters 22 - 27 and the Novel as a Whole

Nice to know I'm not the only one who feels the way I do.  I don't think we're prissy moralizers, but perhaps our expectations for this novel were different.  This was my first read of Rebecca, and considering that it's been around a while, is considered a classic, and that there have been movies probably caused me to expect different from what I read.  It wasn't always a page-turner for me.  There were several times I had to push myself forward to read it. 

 


Laurel wrote:

Lizzie, I feel the same way as you. We may be accused of being prissy moralizers, but that's okay. I do believe in certain standards of right and wrong, and the "I'll help you get away with it and we'll live happily ever after" ending spoils the book for me. That being said, it is a page-turner and, I think, very poetically written in places. And I have read it twice, the first time many years ago.

 


 

 
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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Choisya
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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 22 - 27 and the Novel as a Whole

But I don't think they do live happily ever after Laurel!  They are leading a very miserable life in exile (see my post to Lizzie-Ann).  That is another 'moral' way of ending the novel surely?  Ophelia has also posted some literary analysis which suggests that the novel/DdM is trying to show the corrupt nature of the upper classes at this time.  They did (do?) get away with a lot of things which we ordinary mortals would be punished for.  

 

 

 


Laurel wrote:

Lizzie, I feel the same way as you. We may be accused of being prissy moralizers, but that's okay. I do believe in certain standards of right and wrong, and the "I'll help you get away with it and we'll live happily ever after" ending spoils the book for me. That being said, it is a page-turner and, I think, very poetically written in places. And I have read it twice, the first time many years ago.

 


LizzieAnn wrote:

Finally was able to push myself to finish Rebecca.  I know I'm in the minority here, but I just wasn't that crazy about it.  It bothers me that the author wants me to accept that Max is able to murder his first wife and get away with it legally.  I understand that he's suffered in others ways - and the loss of Manderley & the nomadic life they must now lead can be considered punishment.  Yet, to all intents and purposes - he got away with murder. 

 

Yes, Rebecca is painted as an extremely evil & cruel person, but does that mean Max is justified in what he's done.  After all, it was his pride as much as Rebecca's actions that put these events in motion.  I find this as difficult to accept as it was to accept the fact that the narrator takes Max's confession as proof that he must be in love with her and not Rebecca. 

 

Again, this is just my opinion, but I didn't find the novel as satisfactory as I had anticipated.


 

 


 

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Laurel
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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 22 - 27 and the Novel as a Whole

This is why I tend to avoid reading "new" novels. Fortunately, there are many classics yet that I have not read or have only read a few times.

 


LizzieAnn wrote:

Nice to know I'm not the only one who feels the way I do.  I don't think we're prissy moralizers, but perhaps our expectations for this novel were different.  This was my first read of Rebecca, and considering that it's been around a while, is considered a classic, and that there have been movies probably caused me to expect different from what I read.  It wasn't always a page-turner for me.  There were several times I had to push myself forward to read it. 

 


Laurel wrote:

Lizzie, I feel the same way as you. We may be accused of being prissy moralizers, but that's okay. I do believe in certain standards of right and wrong, and the "I'll help you get away with it and we'll live happily ever after" ending spoils the book for me. That being said, it is a page-turner and, I think, very poetically written in places. And I have read it twice, the first time many years ago.

 


 

 

 

 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Laurel
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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 22 - 27 and the Novel as a Whole

I just hope the Hound of Heaven caught them sometime after the end of the novel so they really can live happily ever after. :smileyhappy:

 


Choisya wrote:

But I don't think they do live happily ever after Laurel!  They are leading a very miserable life in exile (see my post to Lizzie-Ann).  That is another 'moral' way of ending the novel surely?  Ophelia has also posted some literary analysis which suggests that the novel/DdM is trying to show the corrupt nature of the upper classes at this time.  They did (do?) get away with a lot of things which we ordinary mortals would be punished for.  

 

 

 


Laurel wrote:

Lizzie, I feel the same way as you. We may be accused of being prissy moralizers, but that's okay. I do believe in certain standards of right and wrong, and the "I'll help you get away with it and we'll live happily ever after" ending spoils the book for me. That being said, it is a page-turner and, I think, very poetically written in places. And I have read it twice, the first time many years ago.

 


LizzieAnn wrote:

Finally was able to push myself to finish Rebecca.  I know I'm in the minority here, but I just wasn't that crazy about it.  It bothers me that the author wants me to accept that Max is able to murder his first wife and get away with it legally.  I understand that he's suffered in others ways - and the loss of Manderley & the nomadic life they must now lead can be considered punishment.  Yet, to all intents and purposes - he got away with murder. 

 

Yes, Rebecca is painted as an extremely evil & cruel person, but does that mean Max is justified in what he's done.  After all, it was his pride as much as Rebecca's actions that put these events in motion.  I find this as difficult to accept as it was to accept the fact that the narrator takes Max's confession as proof that he must be in love with her and not Rebecca. 

 

Again, this is just my opinion, but I didn't find the novel as satisfactory as I had anticipated.


 

 


 


 

 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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LizzieAnn
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REBECCA: Chapters 22 - 27 and the Novel as a Whole

I know that people in real life get away with murder too, but that isn't easy to accept either.  To me, Max was just as responsible for his situation as Rebecca.  He himself stated that he knew her for what she was 5 days after marrying her and yet was too proud to escape them.  To murder her wasn't the best way out of his situation, as we saw.  But still, it was too convenient that a reason for suicide was provided so that there was enough ambiguity for Max to escape - both the law & the country.  I don't have any sympathy for the deWinters.

 


Choisya wrote:

I take your point Lizzie Ann but folks do get away with murder. I don't know that it was legal - this is left rather open after the inquest and I rather thought that their exile was because they daren't go back to England in case some other evidence crops up and there is a post mortem or whatever.   I don't see them as having 'got away with it' because I think they are leading a very miserable, boring life where she daren't talk to him of anything but cricket scores and sport and where she has to read secretly about the England she loves in case she upsets him. 


 

 
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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Choisya
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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 22 - 27 and the Novel as a Whole

I don't have sympathy for them either.  I agree that Max was just as culpable.  FC and I have discussed why he didn't escape by, say, divorce/separation.  It just was not done in that class, the repercussions of such a scandal would have been  severe for him, for any family he might have had, for the future of his family 'name' etc. That was a fact of upper class life at that time.  The law is the law, they couldn't take any other action if there was no further evidence. I don't think we know if suicide was the reason eventually accepted by the Coroner, it could have been an open verdict. The other thing is, as I pointed out elsewhere, this was a country police force, not in contact with other forces as we have today and not with the top brains or forensic science behind them, so their investigation was necessarily flawed.  Had the murder happened in London, things might have been different.   I think DdM was exploiting this fact.    So in this sense it was a satisfactory ending, there was 'closure' and punishment I feel.     

 


LizzieAnn wrote:

I know that people in real life get away with murder too, but that isn't easy to accept either.  To me, Max was just as responsible for his situation as Rebecca.  He himself stated that he knew her for what she was 5 days after marrying her and yet was too proud to escape them.  To murder her wasn't the best way out of his situation, as we saw.  But still, it was too convenient that a reason for suicide was provided so that there was enough ambiguity for Max to escape - both the law & the country.  I don't have any sympathy for the deWinters.

 


Choisya wrote:

I take your point Lizzie Ann but folks do get away with murder. I don't know that it was legal - this is left rather open after the inquest and I rather thought that their exile was because they daren't go back to England in case some other evidence crops up and there is a post mortem or whatever.   I don't see them as having 'got away with it' because I think they are leading a very miserable, boring life where she daren't talk to him of anything but cricket scores and sport and where she has to read secretly about the England she loves in case she upsets him. 


 

 

 

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dulcinea3
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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 22 - 27 and the Novel as a Whole

I think that Du Maurier was introducing a kind of moral justification when she revealed Rebecca's illness.  That made it very possible that Rebecca was goading Max because she actually wanted him to kill her and spare her from the pain and incapacity that she would be suffering from in only a few month's time.
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Choisya
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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 22 - 27 and the Novel as a Whole

That is a very good point Dulcinea - thanks.  I believe it was hinted at in the scene with the doctor?

 


dulcinea3 wrote:
I think that Du Maurier was introducing a kind of moral justification when she revealed Rebecca's illness.  That made it very possible that Rebecca was goading Max because she actually wanted him to kill her and spare her from the pain and incapacity that she would be suffering from in only a few month's time.

 

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foxycat
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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 22 - 27 and the Novel as a Whole


Laurel wrote:

Lizzie, I feel the same way as you. We may be accused of being prissy moralizers, but that's okay. I do believe in certain standards of right and wrong, and the "I'll help you get away with it and we'll live happily ever after" ending spoils the book for me. That being said, it is a page-turner and, I think, very poetically written in places. And I have read it twice, the first time many years ago.

 


I mentioned this when we started. DDM doesn't necessarily condone the murder and lack of punishment. She's showing that it happens. In the early days of TV, the wrongdoer in a mystery or courtroom drama was always punished at the end of the hour. Now, not always, because the court system is not always fair.  It's more realistric writing. We may believe in standards of right and wrong, but the real world doesn't work that way.

 

And the ending is certainly not happily-ever-after. You're oversimplifying.

 



 

 


 

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