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You might like to focus on the theme of sexuality in the novel, and how at one stage the narrator begs Maxim, her husband, to accept her and to forget about the past by promising to be "his little boy." There is a sense in which the lush sexuality of Rebecca finds its opposite in the almost asexual nature of the narrator, who wears comfortable but not flattering clothes and is a pale imitation of her predecessor. I am sure Freudians would go to town on such descriptions!
with some minor variations, rebecca is essentially a re-write of jane eyre.
genteel but poor naive young girl/ orphan with fine sensibilities falls in love with/marries upper class self confident, wealthy autocratic older man with evil/mad, former wife who has a sinister 'keeper/servant' .
in my view the first wife/keeper relationship is the story that haunts the text throughout. what makes grace poole a drunk and danvers a whack job? i think it is because they are alter egos of alter egos - reverberations of echoes.
their relationship does not become 'real' until the manor is destroyed by fire and the older man has sustained a serious injury that changed him for life.
then they reverse roles and the young girl becomes the strong caretaker.
also the former (and exotic) wife is 'hidden' -
the young girl does not understand the nature of the 'secret'.
and it turns out that the first wife brings about her own(and 'well-deserved') violent death.
both first wives have male allies who intrude in an attempt to blackmail/destroy the happiness of the couple.
both first wives (in my view) reflect hidden/unacceptable/non conforming/antisocial/un-submissive/destructive/unacknowledged parts of the female psyche that the young girl does not yet possess.
but we know that she will not live the rest of her life as a diffident wimp.
Ah i found a Freudian theory in Rebecca but nothing for the other 2, any ideas?
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