Rebecca, The Dead Woman in the Cabin
Debarpita Bose
Student English literature from St. Xavier's University, Kolkata.
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The modern Classic, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, has been of interest to the readers throughout the years. The uncanny resemblances between iconic plots such as Jane Eyre and Othello further instigate this interest in the story. The plot of gothic romance with a murder and deviant psychological tenure has been able to sustain its relevance even today. In this paper, the mysterious figure of Rebecca is delved into as she is compared to the “madwoman in the attic”. Her far reaching influence from beyond the grave keep swaying the resolve and temper of the newly married de Winter couple as them attempt to find a life devoid of her presence. Though her presence becomes imbibed within Manderley, Rebecca haunts the narrator in her dreams after the decimation of the house. There are no first person accounts of what she went through or her upbringing when it comes to the dead protagonist of the novel. Rebecca is seen from a feminist perspective here where she is portrayed as the morally corrupt woman based on the suspicions of her patriarchal husband. This paper attempts to draw parallels between the events of the other works while simultaneously interpreting the work from a feminist perspective. The goal of this paper is to move away from the narrative that Rebecca is a gothic romance and explore the depth of the patriarchal notion of the society by acknowledging the unreliability of the narrators of various parts of the novel and question the representation of Rebecca as the “other woman’. The incredibly intriguing modern classic, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, has arresting qualities embedded into its narrative style and plot. From the sunny France to the secluded Manderley, the gloom almost hovers around the edges of the plot, waiting to invade at the slightest opportunity, until it establishes its grips into the action of the main plot. The full circle of fate is complete for Daphne du Maurier’s nameless narrator by the end of the novel as it begins with a search of a place in the world and ends with similar notions. The note of alienation and deviant human nature is so intricately explored in this novel that it has inspired numerous film adaptations.


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