Rebecca: Finding Identity Through Doppelgangers

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Steve Jobs once said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice” (Hudspeth). This applies to anyone who is trying to find who they are or their identity but is too influenced by what other’s say to do so. In the book Rebecca, the author Daphne du Maurier uses the gothic doppelganger pair between the narrator and Rebecca, to show the journey for the heroine to find her identity. A doppelganger is, “the alter ego or identical double of a protagonist who seems to be either a victim of an identity theft perpetrated by a mimicking supernatural presence or subject to a paranoid hallucination” (Faurholt). With the existence and constant comparison amongst the heroine and the transcendental Rebecca from both other’s opinions and internal thoughts, the narrator cannot find her identity until she sees that she is not the same person as her supernormal doppelganger.
With the mere existence of the narrator’s gothic doppelganger, Rebecca, the heroine is not able to find her true identity. Initially, the narrator cannot cope with the existence of Rebecca being involved with her husband. When she finds a book to, “Max from Rebecca,” she burns the book until, “the letter R was the last to go [twisting] in the flame” (57). The narrator tries to destroy the past as well as the only presence of Rebecca at the time because she does not want to think that the husband was in love with anyone else prior to her. She turns to becoming paranoid with the idea that she will have to share Maxim’s love between her doppelganger and herself. So rather than finding her own identi...

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...ce the supernatural presence of Rebecca is gone.
With the presence of Rebecca as well as the comparison between the two doppelgangers, it is difficult for the narrator to realize who she is because she is in a, “paradox of encountering oneself as another,” through the late Mrs. de Winter (Faurholt). However once the narrator overcomes Rebecca’s existence, she is able to find who she is as well as her identity. Because the narrator was greatly influenced by other’s opinions of her doppelganger and did not listen to the only thing that mattered: what she thought, she did not find her identity. Like the great Steve Jobs once said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice” (Hudspeth).

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