Why do you think Mrs. Van Hopper comes to the hotel at Monte Carlo?

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Monte Carlo is the natural habitat for someone like Mrs. Van Hopper. Rich, brash, and irredeemably vulgar, this is a place just made for the likes of this unspeakable woman. As Mrs. Van Hopper appears to have no discernible identity of her own, she prefers to mix with the rich and famous in the forlorn hope that some of their sparkling personality will somehow rub off.

It doesn't, of course, but Mrs. Van Hopper's stay at the Hotel d'Azur has not been a complete waste of time and money—because it is here that she's sized up the mysterious Maxim de Winter. While her companion is dazzled and intrigued by this dark, handsome stranger, Mrs. Van Hopper sees right through him, recognizing that there's something not quite right about him. Probably for the first time in her life, Mrs. Van Hopper's penchant for rubbing shoulders with Europe's social elite has actually been of use. For now she's in a position to warn her achingly naive young companion of the dangers of becoming the next Mrs. de Winter.

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Mrs. Van Hopper is a very wealthy American who enjoys meeting famous people and likes pursuing what she calls the high life, by which she means living in luxury. Monte Carlo, a famous resort town in Southern France frequented by rich and famous people, would be a natural spot to draw her in. For a person like her, who seeks creature comforts, the sunshine, warmth, and views of Monte Carlo would be strong attractions, as would the grand hotels catering to every whim of a rich person.

Monte Carlo is flashy, like Mrs. Van Hopper herself—not a quiet, out-of-the-way spot. Mrs. Van Hopper also likes gossip and likely thinks she will pick up some interesting news in this place frequented by the rich and famous. She tries to attach herself to the polished Maxim de Winter, but he is repelled by her crudeness.

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