How do you think the characters' perspectives on Manderley change through the book? Are they happy to be there? Do you think they should have stayed away? Why does Maxim bring his bride back to...

How do you think the characters' perspectives on Manderley change through the book? Are they happy to be there? Do you think they should have stayed away? Why does Maxim bring his bride back to Manderley, and how does being at Manderley change her?

Asked on by rhetorike

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accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think it is important to realise that Manderley, as in every Gothic novel, has a presence and a distinct character of its own, but it is one that is suffused and saturated with the presence of Rebecca. This is something that the narrator cannot escape or shake off. There is a sense in which the end of the novel had to happen, just as in "The Fall of the House of Usher" the House itself is destroyed with the death of Roderick and his sister. Rebecca being put finally to rest meant that Manderley had to go with her.

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mjay25 | Student, Graduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

I agree that Manderely is a character of its own, but I think it represents the uncanny to the second Mrs De Winter. Manderley is familiar to her, like the time she bought a postcard while young of Manderley, yet it evokes unfamiliar uneasy feelings in her. She experiences a 'menacing domesticity' from her own self-consciousness and allows Mrs Danvers to bully her for the most part. 

Manderely is tied with the memory of Rebecca. The metaphors in the narrative consistently attest to this. The pathway to Manderley twists like a serpent,and Rebecca is likened to a snake by Ben later on in the novel.

I think Max brings his bride back to Manderley (although in Alfred Hitchcock's film version, she stays there while he leaves with Frank Crawley) because it represents a long line of male heritage and aristocracy for him.

 

 

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