English 2H, Period C
Rebecca Study Guide: Chapters 1-3
1. Describe the setting of the narrator’s dream: the house, the drive, the plant life, the general atmosphere. The narrator opens the novel with the line “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” At Manderley, there is an “iron gate leading to the drive”. Upon this gate there is a “padlock and chain”. The gate’s spokes are “rusted” and the lodge further down the drive is “uninhabited”. There is “no smoke” coming from the chimney of the lodge and the “little lattice” windows are open and abandoned. The drive winds, twists, and turns, however it is different than the narrator remembers. It is now “narrow and unkempt”. The drive’s “gravel surface” is now gone. It is now covered with “grass and moss.” Nature’s presence has “little by little” become entrenched at Manderley. There are low swinging branches of trees and the “dark and uncontrolled” woods come up to the “borders of the drive”. The house is still alive. It is not an “empty shell”, it “lives and breathes” as it had before. The narrator recognizes “shrubs”, “hydrangeas”, and other various “tenacious” plant life. There is an eerie and nostalgic atmosphere.
2. Describe the house as she knows it once was, including specific details. The narrator describes the drive leading up to the house as “twisting and turning as it had always done”. Additionally, she discusses “the woods” which were “always a menace even in the past”. When she finally reaches Manderley, it is “secretive and silent as it had always been”. The walls still remained perfectly symmetrical, even “time could not wreck” it. The final description of the narrators past time at Manderley illustrates the library. “The room would bear witness to our presence. The little heap of library books marked ready to return, and the discarded copy of the Times…and Jasper, with his tail a-thump when he heard his master's footsteps.”
3. How does the house appear to