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foxycat
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Re: Chapter 11 - Obsession


LizzieAnn wrote:

Chapter 11 has MdW2 becoming neurotic - feeling guilty and stressful ...

 

....FC tells MdW2 to talk to Max about her insecurities and feelings while she asks him not to mention it to Maxim.  And still, she persists about Rebecca, asking FC if Rebecca was beautiful.  MdW2 has become completely obsessed with Rebecca.


Many very shy people have obsessive personalites, which prevents them from relating to others in a well-adjusted way. They live inside their own heads, and I speak from experience.  Mrs. Danvers took advantage of that fact and played on it.  If everyone in the household had been acting normally, MrsDW2 wouldn't have obsessed quite that much.  One of the articles I cited above states Mrs. Danvers had a very organized plan to getting rid of her. Today she would be a computer hacker.  

 

Did everyone catch the part in the opening chapters during the honeymoon? They went to several grand cities in Europe, I think Paris too, and Max never thought of buying her new clothes, because he's so self-involved.  So here she is in a very grand house with an immensely rich man, and her poor clothes. Until the 1960's, rules about clothing were very rigid.  Wealthy women bought clothing from Paris. 

 

How's that for adding to your wife's insecurity?

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

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Re: Chapter 11 - Obsession

I never considered the possibility that it's shyness that's making her obsessive.  I think of it as understandable curiousity gone too far. 

 

I did catch the part about the clothes.  It's one of the things that leads me to wonder about their marriage.  Here's this older, experienced, worldly, wealthy man who marries a young poor girl - yet he doesn't buy her any clothes.  They were on a 2-month honeymoon (I believe), and I doubt if she had many clothes, particularly honeymoon clothes.  Yet in all that time he didn't buy her any.  So they went out for dinners and such with her in her dowdy school/work-type clothes.  It just strikes me as very odd.

 

The only thing I put it down too (especially considering Maxim's remark about women thinking of nothing but clothes), is that Rebecca must have been a real clotheshorse.  And Maxim seems to want the complete opposite of Rebecca.  I also agree that he's too self-involved to consider the position he puts her in -- which once again makes me feel that he doesn't truly love her.

 


foxycat wrote:

 

Many very shy people have obsessive personalites, which prevents them from relating to others in a well-adjusted way. They live inside their own heads, and I speak from experience.  Mrs. Danvers took advantage of that fact and played on it.  If everyone in the household had been acting normally, MrsDW2 wouldn't have obsessed quite that much.  One of the articles I cited above states Mrs. Danvers had a very organized plan to getting rid of her. Today she would be a computer hacker.  

 

Did everyone catch the part in the opening chapters during the honeymoon? They went to several grand cities in Europe, I think Paris too, and Max never thought of buying her new clothes, because he's so self-involved.  So here she is in a very grand house with an immensely rich man, and her poor clothes. Until the 1960's, rules about clothing were very rigid.  Wealthy women bought clothing from Paris. 

 

How's that for adding to your wife's insecurity?


 

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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Re: Chapter 11 - Obsession


LizzieAnn wrote:

I never considered the possibility that it's shyness that's making her obsessive.  I think of it as understandable curiousity gone too far.  

You remember I said I was very like her well into my '30's. When you don't have social skills, you live inside your own head, and every little thing is of major importance. "Everyone's looking at me. I can never do this, so I shouldn't try.  I mustn't say anything wrong. I'll make a fool of myself," etc. You become obsessed with your inadequacy, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I had my mother; she has Mrs. Danvers.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Re: Chapter 11 - Obsession

[ Edited ]

LizzieAnn wrote:

I did catch the part about the clothes. It's one of the things that leads me to wonder about their marriage. Here's this older, experienced, worldly, wealthy man who marries a young poor girl - yet he doesn't buy her any clothes. They were on a 2-month honeymoon (I believe), and I doubt if she had many clothes, particularly honeymoon clothes. Yet in all that time he didn't buy her any. So they went out for dinners and such with her in her dowdy school/work-type clothes. It just strikes me as very odd.

 

The only thing I put it down too (especially considering Maxim's remark about women thinking of nothing but clothes), is that Rebecca must have been a real clotheshorse. And Maxim seems to want the complete opposite of Rebecca. I also agree that he's too self-involved to consider the position he puts her in -- which once again makes me feel that he doesn't truly love her.

 


It strikes me as more than that: totally unrealistic. There's a big gap between being a clotheshorse and dressing properly. Even a selfish man who didn't love her would buy his new bride some clothes. She's going to represent him in the household and the neighborhood.  He would want to flaunt his wealth a little, "take care" of her, as the expression went. I think DDM went overboard here, and I classify this under my "not logical" heading. She's adding an extra layer to the narrator's feeling of inadequacy. DDM was only 30 when she wrote this, and there are flaws.
Message Edited by foxycat on 08-06-2008 05:32 PM
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Re: Chapter 11 - Obsession

That's a good point about DDM "going overboard" here. 

 

It also makes me wonder how self-absorbed Max is.  They're alone for two solid months on their honeymoon, & he never thought to buy her anything?  They spent time in France & Italy, and there's mention of Paris, Venice, and London.  These are places where they would have seen well-dressed women and where MdW2's clothing would have been a contrast.  I don't understand it.


foxycat wrote:

 

It strikes me as more than that: totally unrealistic. There's a big gap between being a clotheshorse and dressing properly. Even a selfish man who didn't love her would buy his new bride some clothes. She's going to represent him in the household and the neighborhood.  He would want to flaunt his wealth a little, "take care" of her, as the expression went. I think DDM went overboard here, and I classify this under my "not logical" heading. She's adding an extra layer to the narrator's feeling of inadequacy. DDM was only 30 when she wrote this, and there are flaws.

Message Edited by foxycat on 08-06-2008 05:32 PM

 

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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Re: Chapter 11 - Obsession

I understand what you're saying about shyness & inadequacy, but I'm not sure that that is the only thing driving MdW2.  After all, she wasn't too shy to sneak away from Mrs. Danvers to spend time secretly with Max - going for drives and having meals with him - marrying a man she didn't really know.  That was very daring, especially in the times of this novel.

 

She also isn't too shy to question Frank persistently. 

 


foxycat wrote:

You remember I said I was very like her well into my '30's. When you don't have social skills, you live inside your own head, and every little thing is of major importance. "Everyone's looking at me. I can never do this, so I shouldn't try.  I mustn't say anything wrong. I'll make a fool of myself," etc. You become obsessed with your inadequacy, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I had my mother; she has Mrs. Danvers.


 

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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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 8 - 14

After completing this section of reading, I found myself feeling frustrated by and sorry for the narrator, mad at Maxim, creeped out by Mrs. Danvers, and dying to find out the whole story about Rebecca.  Thank goodness Beatrice and her husband seem normal!  And Frank is an honest voice of reason.

 

The narrator led such a squelched life, treated rudely and like a child by Mrs. Van Hopper, and with no means to escape her situation.  I don’t blame the narrator for marrying Maxim as a way to escape Mrs. Van Hopper.  She had no idea what she was getting into, just knew what she wanted to escape.  Then she is put into a lifestyle so far from anything she has ever known, she has no clue how to act.

 

Maxim makes me so angry when he does nothing to help his new wife settle in!  I truly don’t understand why not.  I blame Maxim for much of his new wife’s cluelessness and avoidance actions, like hiding. 

 

We finally hear from Frank what happened, yet I think there is something we still don’t know.  And I think Ben does know.

 

The last section of the reading, when Mrs. Danvers shows the narrator Rebecca’s rooms, gave me the willies! 

 
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Re: Chapter 11 - Obsession


LizzieAnn wrote:

I understand what you're saying about shyness & inadequacy, but I'm not sure that that is the only thing driving MdW2.  After all, she wasn't too shy to sneak away from Mrs. Danvers to spend time secretly with Max - going for drives and having meals with him - marrying a man she didn't really know.  That was very daring, especially in the times of this novel.

 

She also isn't too shy to question Frank persistently. 

 


foxycat wrote:

You remember I said I was very like her well into my '30's. When you don't have social skills, you live inside your own head, and every little thing is of major importance. "Everyone's looking at me. I can never do this, so I shouldn't try.  I mustn't say anything wrong. I'll make a fool of myself," etc. You become obsessed with your inadequacy, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I had my mother; she has Mrs. Danvers.


 


 

I agree, i don't think of her as shy, just insecure. I think its natural for someone to want to know about the woman they are " replacing " but I think her obsession with Rebecca is because Max doesn't tell her anything. He knows how sheltered she is but has pretty much left her to fend for herself with the household.

I think the part about the clothes is to reinforce the idea of Max being self-absorbed. Or that he doesn't want her to be anything like Rebecca.

I was creeped out by the part where she tells Max he is her father, brother and her son. She knows he isn't treating her properly, that adds to her obsession about Rebecca.

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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 8 - 14

I totally agree about that scene between Mrs. Danvers and MdW2 as being creepy, and that Ben knows something that we don't know yet. 

 

I still find myself more annoyed with MdW2 than sorry for her.  I don't feel like Max is totally to blame for her either.  She has to bear a lot of responsibility for her misery herself.  Like you, I truly don't understand their relationship.  I can understand why she married him - even though she obviously didn't think about it at all.  I can't understand why he married her - there is no indication of love or passion; most of the times he treats her like a child - when he even remembers she's around - and, as she herself is smart enough to realize - he treats her like a pet, much in the same way she treats Jasper.  In fact, she realizes that she even acts like Jasper, eager for attention. 

 

I think that it's their relationship that is giving me such a difficult time with this book.

 


Fozzie wrote:

After completing this section of reading, I found myself feeling frustrated by and sorry for the narrator, mad at Maxim, creeped out by Mrs. Danvers, and dying to find out the whole story about Rebecca.  Thank goodness Beatrice and her husband seem normal!  And Frank is an honest voice of reason.

 

The narrator led such a squelched life, treated rudely and like a child by Mrs. Van Hopper, and with no means to escape her situation.  I don’t blame the narrator for marrying Maxim as a way to escape Mrs. Van Hopper.  She had no idea what she was getting into, just knew what she wanted to escape.  Then she is put into a lifestyle so far from anything she has ever known, she has no clue how to act.

 

Maxim makes me so angry when he does nothing to help his new wife settle in!  I truly don’t understand why not.  I blame Maxim for much of his new wife’s cluelessness and avoidance actions, like hiding. 

 

We finally hear from Frank what happened, yet I think there is something we still don’t know.  And I think Ben does know.

 

The last section of the reading, when Mrs. Danvers shows the narrator Rebecca’s rooms, gave me the willies! 

 

 

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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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 8 - 14


 Lizzie Ann wrote:
 

The last section of the reading, when Mrs. Danvers shows the narrator Rebecca’s rooms, gave me the willies! 

 

 Look at the video on Youtube, if you haven't already, because Judith Anderson plays it to such perfection.  She is both in love with and obsessed wirh Rebecca.  She's off in her own little world here.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XamFfBWAQ0

 


 

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

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Everyman
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Re: Chapters 8 & 9 :

It may be that there is more of DdM in this book than in her other, I think 36, books, but if so, she does not indicate that in the Author's Note in my edition.  She gives a brief history of writing teh book, and says "It is true that as I wrote it I immersed myself in the characters, especially in the narrator, but then this has happened throughout my writing career, I losemyself in the plot as it unfolds, an donly when the book is finished do I lay it asside, I may add, finally and forever."   She does not say anything more to suggest that the narrator is any more a representative of herself than any other character in any of her other books.   It is also perhaps notable that at the time she wrote the book she was already married and had two children, which is a significant difference from the narrator of Rebecca. 

 

But it is also undoubtedly true that most authors incorporate elements of themselves into many of their characters.  Indeed, I doubt that it could be otherwise if the book is worth reading.  

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Re: Chapters 8 & 9

[ Edited ]

I have a lurking suspicion that Rachel and Danny had a sexual relationship.  That would explain a great deal about her behavior. 

 

Edit:  after reading further in the thread after I posted this, I see that I'm not the only person with this thought.

 


Peppermill wrote:

That may be part of the reason it is only too easy to 'code' Mrs. Danvers as the forbidden, the taboo from Rebecca's life and perhaps as a 'threat' to all women as Maxim and Beatrice imply, including even our narrator?  And maybe Mrs. Danvers shouldn't be coded that way at all, in our 2008 sensibilities?  Has she been unfairly treated by DdM?  By producers in more recent films?  Will her "evil" "spill over" to impact men?  Has it already?  Is it "evil" at all that we observe?

 


foxycat wrote {ed.}:

 


Choisya wrote:  I feel that all the main female characters in the book, the Narrator, Rebecca, Mrs Danvers, Beatrice, are a composite of DDM so yes, she is not solely portrayed in the Narrator.  I further feel she was very much writing out her own demons.

 


 

Choisya -- I like your idea that each female character has some aspect of DDM's personality. But I'm having trouble with Mrs. Danvers because she's so evil and totally lacking in empathy.


 

 


 

 

Message Edited by Everyman on 08-07-2008 12:04 AM
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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 8 - 14

The Byronic Hero was a staple of a certain genre of 19th century English writing.

 

But I'm not surprised that a contemporary high school student wouldn't have heard of the term before.


Lmfwhite wrote:
Changing the subject completely......I just found out that the 12th grade English Honors program at my son's high school is requiring REBECCA to be read for summer reading.  What they have to do after they read the book is the following:  "Select passages on how REBECCA typifies a Gothic novel and how the main male character typifies a Byronic Hero."  I personally didn't know what a Byronic Hero was....had any of you heard of this before?  I looked it up on the school's website and they stated that a Byronic hero is a male character who is a rebel, not heroic, has dark qualities, is larger than life, is isolated, moody, passionate, arrogant, confident,and sensitive.  He is usually characterized by having a guilty memory of some unnamed sexual crime.All these qualities fit Maxim until I got to the last sentence and thought "hmmmmmm".  I'm only on Chapter 15 so I don't know if this is a foreshadowing or not.  

 

 

_______________
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moeh
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Re: Chapters 8 -14 : Anyone for Freud?

Choisya,

I am a psychiatric nurse and you impress me. I teach student nurses and you have explained Freud much better than I!  Good job!!

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Re: Chapter 11 - Frank Crawley

Great post LIzzie with some good quotes!   So now we have both the Narrator and Mrs Danvers being obsessed by the dead Rebecca.  I can see why Sally Beauman felt that she must write another novel from Rebecca's POV. 

 


LizzieAnn wrote:

Chapter 11 has MdW2 becoming neurotic - feeling guilty and stressful: 

It was all my fault, because I had gone down into the bay.  I had opened up a road into the past again.  (page 123)

Yet, it doesn't stop her from continuing to learn about Rebecca. 

Sometimes I would glean little snatches of information to add to my secret store.  A word dropped here at random, a question, a pass phrase.  And, if Maxim was not with me, the hearing of them would be a furtive, rather painful pleasure, guilty knowledge learnt in the dark.  (page 124) 

She also slyly questions Frank Crawley, first about the fancy dress dance at Manderley and then about Rebecca herself.  Once again she doesn't truly listen to what she's told, but takes what she hears and weaves her own truth/fantasy.  She wonders if Crawley had been in love with Rebecca.  She persists in her questions, acknowledging the fact to herself:

Now that I had broken down my reluctance at saying Rebecca's name, . . . the urge to continue was strong within me.  It gave me a curious satisfaction, it acted upon me like a stimulant.  (page 130)

She questions Crawley about Rebecca's cottage, her boat, and what happened to her the night she died - pushing against his reluctance.  Now here she's smart enough & strong enough to push for what she wants - but she isn't smart enough to understand what it is she gets - or she's not looking at it clearly, already having a certain scenario/idea in her head.  It seems that Crawley is telling her something important when he says to her:

"You have qualities that are just as important, far more so, in fact. . . . but I should say that kindliness, and sincerity, and if I may say so - modesty - are worth far more to a man, to a husband, than all the wit and beauty in the world."  (Page 135)

Rebecca thinks to herself:  I was not sure what he meant by modesty.  It was a word I had never understood.  I always imagined it had something to do with minding meeting people in a passage on the way to a bathroom.  (Ibid)  Can she really be so off the mark?   Or is she deliberately not considering any other option because she's built up this ideal of Rebecca?

 

FC tells MdW2 to talk to Max about her insecurities and feelings while she asks him not to mention it to Maxim.  And still, she persists about Rebecca, asking FC if Rebecca was beautiful.  MdW2 has become completely obsessed with Rebecca.

 

 


 

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Re: Chapter 11 - Obsession

Yes he is completely self-absorbed, perhaps traumatised by the death of his first wife, and is perhaps looking for someone as a companion who is completely different.  There are no declarations of love, no hugs, no kisses - the affection seems to be entirely on the part of the Narrator.  There has been speculation by critics that DDM meant to represent the marriage as unconsummated until later on in the book, when there is a telling paragraph.....

 

As his marriage is childless, could he also be looking for a child companion?  (This could be reflection of DDM's very close relatioship to her own father.) 

 


LizzieAnn wrote:

I never considered the possibility that it's shyness that's making her obsessive.  I think of it as understandable curiousity gone too far. 

 

I did catch the part about the clothes.  It's one of the things that leads me to wonder about their marriage.  Here's this older, experienced, worldly, wealthy man who marries a young poor girl - yet he doesn't buy her any clothes.  They were on a 2-month honeymoon (I believe), and I doubt if she had many clothes, particularly honeymoon clothes.  Yet in all that time he didn't buy her any.  So they went out for dinners and such with her in her dowdy school/work-type clothes.  It just strikes me as very odd.

 

The only thing I put it down too (especially considering Maxim's remark about women thinking of nothing but clothes), is that Rebecca must have been a real clotheshorse.  And Maxim seems to want the complete opposite of Rebecca.  I also agree that he's too self-involved to consider the position he puts her in -- which once again makes me feel that he doesn't truly love her.

 


foxycat wrote:

 

Many very shy people have obsessive personalites, which prevents them from relating to others in a well-adjusted way. They live inside their own heads, and I speak from experience.  Mrs. Danvers took advantage of that fact and played on it.  If everyone in the household had been acting normally, MrsDW2 wouldn't have obsessed quite that much.  One of the articles I cited above states Mrs. Danvers had a very organized plan to getting rid of her. Today she would be a computer hacker.  

 

Did everyone catch the part in the opening chapters during the honeymoon? They went to several grand cities in Europe, I think Paris too, and Max never thought of buying her new clothes, because he's so self-involved.  So here she is in a very grand house with an immensely rich man, and her poor clothes. Until the 1960's, rules about clothing were very rigid.  Wealthy women bought clothing from Paris. 

 

How's that for adding to your wife's insecurity?


 


 

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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 8 - 14


LizzieAnn wrote:

I can't understand why he married her - there is no indication of love or passion; most of the times he treats her like a child - when he even remembers she's around - and, as she herself is smart enough to realize - he treats her like a pet, much in the same way she treats Jasper.  In fact, she realizes that she even acts like Jasper, eager for attention. 


At this point, it is not clear at all as to why he married her.  Keep reading!

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 8 - 14


foxycat wrote:

 Look at the video on Youtube, if you haven't already, because Judith Anderson plays it to such perfection.  She is both in love with and obsessed wirh Rebecca.  She's off in her own little world here.


Creepy!  If I were our narrator, I would be thinking, "Should I try to run now or will she stop me and kill me?!?!  How can I escape?!?!?!"

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Re: REBECCA: Chapters 8 - 14

That was absolutely creepy to watch.  You're right; Judith Anderson was  perfect Mrs. Danvers.  I don't know why MdW2 didn't run screaming from the room way before that - why she stayed.  The lighting, especially the shadows, gave such an impact - especially with the film being in black & white.  The close-up of Mrs. Danvers face gave me the shivers.

 


foxycat wrote:

 Look at the video on Youtube, if you haven't already, because Judith Anderson plays it to such perfection.  She is both in love with and obsessed wirh Rebecca.  She's off in her own little world here.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XamFfBWAQ0

 


 

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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Re: Chapter 11 - Obsession

I wonder about the child aspect - at times he not only treats her as a child but speaks to her as one, even calling her child.  Of course at times she does act like a child, as with the incident with the china cupid in chapter 12. 

 


Choisya wrote:

Yes he is completely self-absorbed, perhaps traumatised by the death of his first wife, and is perhaps looking for someone as a companion who is completely different.  There are no declarations of love, no hugs, no kisses - the affection seems to be entirely on the part of the Narrator.  There has been speculation by critics that DDM meant to represent the marriage as unconsummated until later on in the book, when there is a telling paragraph.....

 

As his marriage is childless, could he also be looking for a child companion?  (This could be reflection of DDM's very close relatioship to her own father.) 


 

Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon