Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

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Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Texts show us how experience often changes people. 'Rebecca', a novel written by Daphne Du Maurier illustrates this point. Throughout the engrossing story, the characters experience much and as a result, the characters undergo both temporary and life-altering changes to their thoughts, beliefs and behaviour.

In the beginning of the novel, the narrator is the insecure, shy and inexperienced paid companion of Mrs. Van Hopper. However, when she marries Maxim De Winter her life totally changes. She enters a new and unknown world as she becomes part of the elite class of society. She also has to cope with the many responsibilities and expectations imposed on her as the wife of the famous Maxim De Winter. This experience changes her into a worldly, more confident woman, but however this is a gradual development. For example, early in the novel, the narrator has unrealistic romantic fantasies of her and Maxim. However, after Maxim's blasé marriage proposal the reality of the situation begins to dawn on her :

'And he went on eating his marmalade as though everything were natural. In books men knelt to women, and it was moonlight. Not at breakfast, not like this.'

Here Mrs. De Winter changes with this experience. Her ideas of love which are based on works of fiction, are quashed when her romantic expectations remain unfulfilled. Although her unblemished perception of love begins to crumble in this instance, later it is rebuilt by the love that she and Maxim share.

On the other hand, Maxim's experience with the narrator is somewhat different. In the beginning of the novel, he seeks no romantic involvement but seeks companionship. The experience of close communication with another human being, after his self-imposed isolation after Rebecca's death, changes Maxim. When Maxim takes the narrator for a drive in his car, he tells her of Manderley, the sun setting and the nearby sea. At this moment, Manderley is the...
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