Chapter 14 Summary

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Once she is in the west wing, the young girl is unsure where to go. She calculates the room in which she saw Favell and Danvers; she enters and turns on the light. The girl is shocked because the room is fully furnished, as though it is in current use. At first, she expects Rebecca herself to appear; then she remembers the woman has been dead for a year.

This is, indeed, the room in which Favell and Danvers had been standing, and suddenly she feels like an uninvited guest. The slippers, brushes, and coverlet are all so vivid, and this is the most beautiful room in the house, just as Danvers had told her. As the girl explores a bit more, she is startled by Danvers who appears and asks her if anything is wrong. The girl makes an excuse for being in the room, but Danvers says she is always eager to show this room to the new Mrs. de Winter.

In a queer voice, the housekeeper talks about Rebecca as she explains the significance of each item in the room. Rebecca was tall and thin, and de Winter was always “laughing and gay” with her. Danvers tells the girl about a famous painting of Rebecca, and her clothes were stunning. When her body was found, though, she was naked and battered by the rocks; her face was unrecognizable and both arms were missing.

Danvers had been gone the night Rebecca died; if she had been there, Rebecca would not have gone out, for she always listened to Danvers. Late that night Danvers told de Winter that she was worried about Rebecca and did not sleep that entire night for worrying about her beloved Rebecca. The young girl does not want to hear anything more about that night, but Danvers maintains a firm grip on the girl’s arm and continues.

Early the next morning, Danvers could not wait any longer and discovered the boat was missing and the tide was rising. Since that night, de Winter has never used any of rooms in the west wing. Danvers dusts this room every day, and the housekeeper’s manner now is fawning, unpleasant, and overly intimate. Her smile is a “false, unnatural thing.” If the girl ever gets lonely, Danvers offers to let her come sit in this room, a place which makes Danvers feel as if Rebecca has only left for a bit and might return shortly.

The young girl forces a smile but cannot speak. Danvers whispers that she often imagines Rebecca’s footsteps everywhere around her and can sometimes hear the swish of her dress on the stairway as she comes down to dinner. Danvers pauses and holds the girl’s gaze as she asks the girl if she believes that the “dead come back and watch the living.” Danvers again whispers that sometimes she wonders if Rebecca has come back to Manderley and watches de Winter and his new wife.

The two women stand and stare at one another, and the girl is unable to avert her eyes from the housekeeper’s malevolent eyes full of absolute hatred. Finally Danvers opens the door to the hallway and tells the girl that Robert is back and ready to serve tea. She steps aside so the girl can pass; the girl stumbles blindly down the stairs and into the safety of her own rooms before shutting and locking her door. Now she lies on her bed and closes her eyes, feeling “deadly sick.”

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Chapter 13 Summary


Chapter 15 Summary