Rebecca Symbolism

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In Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier uses symbolism to explore the complex character known as Rebecca. When re-reading the novel one is able to depict the smallest details that divulge the characters background and true intentions that are otherwise hidden when first explored. Du Maurier uses the setting, FOILS, and names in order to reveal a deeper meaning to her character. By using the setting Miss Du Maurier leaves hidden meanings behind her characters names to communicate a deeper understanding of their personalities and intentions. Miss Du Maurier forces the reader to look behind the obvious and mundane to observe the hidden depth and layers of the characters she breathed life to. Beneath Du Maurier’s words, her symbolism feeds into the reader’s imagination with the simple narration of plot, that alludes to a deeper perception of each of the characters. This added depth transforms Rebecca from the average Gothic romance to a literary classic.
One of the first and most prominent forms of symbolism that is applied to the novel is the long drive to Manderley. This drive makes use of the setting as an introduction to the late Rebecca. When we first read of the Manderley drive and its unsettling location, one is plunged into a still and silent atmosphere a realm that one suspects belonged to the late Mrs. De Winter, Maxims first wife. “The drive twisted and turned as a serpent.” (Du Maurier 65) This depiction, under closer inspection holds a deeper meaning. Unconsciously, the reader is immersed into the crookedness known as Rebecca’s nature. Her constant changing of face from social hostess to abusive wife.
On a second look at the novel, one also becomes aware of the small details Du Maurier leaves depicting both Rebecca and the pre...

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...the true nature of Rebecca, and how ones setting, title, and inner sanctum divulge one's true being. From her detailed depictions of Manderley, Miss. Du Maurier uses every aspect of the estate to foreshadow Rebecca’s nature and her effect on those around her. Firstly by using the setting Miss Du Maurier exposes how one's power can extend over their land even after death. Even causing, an overshadowing of one who is living. The author then uses this overshadowing of power to FOIL the two mistresses of Manderley, emphasizing how ones name creates power. Thus, causing the reader to use both of the mistresses of Manderley as FOILS throughout the novel. By the end of the novel, Miss Daphne Du Maurier succeeded in bringing Rebecca our complex antagonist to life through her talents of weaving in symbolism and double meaning into her novel creating a literary work of art.
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