LA 9 ADV 2
20 October 2014
Imagine living in a dark house filled with a dark past and dark people. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier exemplifies the gothic/romantic fiction genre. Filled with the supernatural, mystery and horror, the genre is shown throughout the book through the narrator's life or death commitment, the setting of Manderley, and the ghost of Rebecca.
Romantic fiction deals with powerful love: the mains character’s often have strong emotions, and make a strong commitment even in life or death situations. For example, once Maxim confesses he killed Rebecca, the narrator stays with him not knowing if he could be capable of hurting her as well: “I was aware of no feeling at all, no pain, no fear, there was no horror in my heart" (Du Maurier 267). This shows the narrator was not fazed by the fact that Maxim murdered the former Mrs.De Winter. It also shows she loved Maxim so strongly that she would not leave him for any reason.
The narrator also works with Maxim to keep Rebecca’s murder a secret from others, “I did not look at him. I was afraid he would understand my eyes. I did not want him to know I knew” (Du Maurier 298). By doing this, the narrator again showed her strong commitment because she was willing to lie for Maxim, no matter how much trouble she could've possibly gotten in.
In gothic fiction novels, setting is a huge element. Gothic novels often take place in medieval ruins or haunted castles. In the book, the gothic setting would be the the mansion, Manderley. The mood throughout the book is symbolism of many things, it also changes from Monte Carlo, to Manderley. In Monte Carlo the narrator refers the mood being happy she says, "Mine was a happy mood that afternoon, and I remember it well. I can see the rippled sky, fluffy with cloud and the white whipped sea" (Du
Maurier 28). But, as she arrives to Manderley, the weather and mood seem to change:
"There was no house, no field, and friendly garden, nothing but silence and deep woods" (Du Maurier 6465). This shows how unwelcoming things get as the book changes settings. Being at the mansion, things are more gloomy dark and mysterious, while at other settings, things are happy and settled which shows there is something behind Manderley. Another thing about the setting is Maxim's personality change from
Monte Carlo to Manderley. In Monte Carlo the narrator refers to him as being nothing she thought he was: "I had illjudged him, he was neither hard nor sardonic, he was already my friend of many years, the brother I had never possessed" (Du Maurier
2728). As they get to Manderley, he seems to treat her more like a child; he acts harder, which makes her believe he doesn't love her. His behavioral change from Monte