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annalasis of the novel Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier

             What does the novel Rebecca have to say about the institution of marriage? In you answer show how generic devices and techniques are used in this representation.
             Daphne du Maurier's novel Rebecca, written in the mid 1930's, discusses the institution of marriage. Rebecca is a multi-generic fictional novel about a young woman's struggle after her marriage to Maxim De Winter based on the period in which it was written. Setting, character construction and class representation are all used in the novel to present to the reader that marriage was society based, what society wanted and expected of the couple, hence the narrator's constant feelings of insignificance.
             Setting plays a significant role in the novel and it often enhances the narrator's inner feelings. The novel Rebecca is set mostly in a large but old mansion by the name of Manderley, which is by the sea and owned by a rich inheritor named Maxim De Winter. The house is often described by the narrator as being large and beautiful yet dark and mysterious. It contains many valuable items and furniture for example Rebecca's bedroom. The narrator constantly feels awkward and out of place because she is simple and childlike and feels that she cannot touch anything as if she were forbidden by an adult. She herself describes a desk as "no pretty toy-(pg 90). Manderley is used as a metaphor for society for it belittles the narrator and makes her feel lower. She feels that she somehow needs to prove herself and does not stop feeling apprehensive about being there. The narrator has these feelings because she also feels unimportant in the eyes of society. She is always worrying about their view and expectations of her. The reader also understands that the marriage between the narrator and Maxim is not to societies liking because the narrator does not have the qualities that they want and expect. Thus proving that the setting of Manderley is in fact used in the novel Rebecca as a metaphor for society since it allows the reader to understand that marriage is based on societies expectations and since the narrator is not of their class, society humble her and make her feel awkward.

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