In the novel, the author uses a lot of dialogue to create the suspense needed to make the storyline interesting. For example, on page 259 in chapter 19, the narrator is speaking with Ben. “‘The fishes have eaten her up by now, haven’t they?” he said. “Who?” I said. “Her,” he said, “the other one.” “Fishes don’t eat steamers, Ben.”’ The narrator does not understand that Ben is speaking about Rebecca’s body in the cabin of the boat that was found. This creates suspense by the reader not knowing what’s going on or whose body was found, since Maxim has not yet told the narrator that it is Rebecca’s body in the cabin and that he killed her. Du Maurier also uses fog mixed with dialogue to create the suspense and tension that’s needed and wanted. An excellent example of this would be on page 246 in chapter 18, when Mrs. Danvers tries to coax the narrator into jumping out of the window to her death. ‘She pushed me towards the open window. I could see the terrace below me grey and indistinct in the white wall of fog. “Look down there,” she said. “It’s easy, isn’t it? Why don’t you jump? It wouldn’t hurt, not to break your neck. It’s a quick, kind way. It’s not like drowning. Why don’t you try it? Why don’t you go?’ The fog filled the open window, damp and clammy, it stung my eyes, it clung to my nostrils. I held onto the window-sill with my hands.’ The fog covers the ground so the narrator cannot see how far up she really is. Not to mention the reader does not know whether or not the narrator will follow through with jumping or not. She’s already at the open window, all she has to do is step out.
In the movie version of the novel Rebecca, Alfred Hitchcock uses different techniques than du Maurier does. Instead of using setting description, he just uses scenery because you can actually see it. For example, he uses the setting descriptions of the narrator’s dream from the beginning of the novel to create the scenery, visuals, and the enactment of the dream in the movie. The dream in the movie sounds exactly like the dream in the novel, but you can actually see it instead of imagining it. The suspenseful part is when the house is dark and there is no sign of life. But suddenly, a light turns on. Also, he uses scenery as Manderly burns to the ground at the end of the movie. Hitchcock also uses music to create suspense and tension. As mentioned earlier, Manderly is burnt down and as Maxim figures out that it’s Manderly burning, suspenseful music plays. Earlier in the movie, the narrator tells Mrs. Danvers to remove certain things from the room. Mrs. Danvers asks her why, and the narrator replies, “Because I am Mrs. de Winter now.” As she says this, suspenseful music plays.
The techniques used in the movie and in the novel are very different. The only similar technique is dialogue, and the way things are stated by the characters. They’re different because scenery is not included in a story. The author must use descriptions of the current setting so you can imagine it in your mind, since it isn’t being projected in front of your eyes like a movie. You cannot use music in a book, because you will not be able to hear it. So, film directors such as Alfred Hitchcock use certain types of music to set different moods. For example, eerie music is used to create suspense, and music with high notes is used to create a happy, light-hearted mood. This is not possible in a novel unless the author describes it to you.
Finally, the movie and the novel both use certain techniques to create different amounts of suspense and tension. The types of techniques may be different, but they work. They create the mood that is necessary. IF you read the book and then watch the movie, you will notice the different styles of techniques that du Maurier and Hitchcock use.