How is Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca an example of a metanarrative?

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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The definition of a metanarrative, in its simplest form, is a story about a story. As “Rebecca” opens with the narrator telling us the events of her experiences at Manderley. She is a fictional character, detailing the events of her life which revolve around her understanding of the relationship between her husband, Maxim de Winter, and his first wife, Rebecca de Winter.

The events of the story of her connection with Maxim and her realization of the cruel reality of Rebecca’s existence is the narrators story as well as Rebecca’s. As a reader, we come to realise the bitter evil which lay within the beautiful Rebecca, and we understand the gentle naivety, which develops into mature awareness, of the narrator.

The novel is therefore the tale of Rebecca and her life (and death) recounted through a narrator who reveals her own development as she uncovers the story of her predecessor. With this explanation, “Rebecca” can be said to be a metanarrative.


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