British novels: Rebecca (2/3)

English version

Mr. de Winter and his new wife were asked to revive the Manderly fancy dress ball. The ball was meant to be organized in honour of Mrs. de Winter as a bride. Mr. de Winter and his wife agreed then to the idea. This raised the question of what costume Mrs. de winter was going to wear. It was Mrs. Danvers who came up with a solution and here what she said to Mrs. de Winter : «I wonder you don’t copy one of the pictures in the gallery…All the pictures in the gallery would make good costumes, especially that one of the young lady in white, with her hat in her hand.», pages 198-199.This suggestion does not bode well from a housekeeper who barely conceals her hostility towards the new wife (while using good manners) and given her obsessive attachment to Rebecca.
The outfit of Mrs. de Winter had a disastrous effect on her husband and she realized the mistake she had made in falling into the trap set by Mrs. Danvers. Her husband was stunned by the appearance of his new wife in Rebecca’s costume. It was surprise even shock in Winter’s eyes because in front of him stood Rebecca. Specifically, Rebecca had worn the same costume before her death. The reader will understand that this is a materialization of the hatred the housekeeper feels for the new wife who is unusually naive and gullible. The housekeeper shows fanaticism that is very difficult to overpower even by her employer, Maxim de Winter.
To conclude, one has to say that the husband is angry and upset and his second wife (the narrator) is having a hard time because of her wrecked plan.
Mrs. Danvers, the old housekeeper, not only feels hatred for de Winter’s second and young wife, but also contempt. However, there was never any question for this wife to act and use all means to replace Rebecca. But convincing the cantankerous Mrs. Danvers of this was wasted effort. What matters most to the second wife was that her husband still love her and doesn’t regret marrying her.
While de Winter’s absence, the housekeeper lost her temper and was very threatening, even prompting the new wife, deeply distraught and unable to defend herself, to commit suicide by throwing herself out the window. We see here how Daphné du Maurier describes with extreme precision the feelings of the two characters. This scene gives the reader an irresistible urge to intervene and makes us feel our inability to cope with the violence and madness driven by obsession.
It was the sounds of explosion that ended the scene described above. We learn that a ship has gone ashore there in the bay. A wrecked ship. In this stranded ship near Manderley property a diver was sent and he discovered there a hole in its bottom and a hull of a little sailing boat that belongs to the late Mrs. de Winter an on its cabin floor a dissolved body. Page 262.
Actually, Maxim de Winter has identified another body that had washed ashore shortly after Rebecca’s death. The second wife believed there was another body besides Rebecca’s. But her husband tells her the truth. There was no one else on the cabin floor.
« It’s Rebecca’s body lying there on the cabin floor and the woman buried in the crypt is not Rebecca(…)It’s the body of some unknown woman (…). ». Page 266.
Maxim de Winter manage to tell his wife that he had killed Rebecca. We’ll deal with that matter in the last part of this summary (3/3).

Auteur : Salahdnl

Passionné pour le partage.

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