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Rebecca

Daphne du Maurier

Characters

Summary

Chapters 1-4

The Heroine -  The novel's protagonist and narrator; we never learn her given name. A shy, self-conscious young woman from a lower-middle class background, she begins the novel as a paid companion to Mrs. Van Hopper, a wealthy American woman. In Monte Carlo, she meets and marries the older, wealthy Maxim de Winter, and becomes "Mrs. De Winter," mistress of Manderley.
Maxim de Winter -  A cultured, intelligent older man, and the owner of Manderley, a prized estate and mansion on the English coast. When the novel begins, he has recently lost his beautiful, accomplished wife, Rebecca, in what the world believes was a tragic drowning. In fact, however, he killed her himself.
Rebecca -  In life, Rebecca was the beautiful, much-loved, accomplished wife of Maxim de Winter, and the mistress of Manderley. Now a ghost, she haunts the mansion, and her presence torments the heroine after her marriage to Maxim.
Mrs. Danvers -  The sinister housekeeper at Manderley. She was fiercely devoted to Rebecca, and remains devoted to her even after death. She despises the heroine for taking her mistress's place.
Jack Favell  -  Rebecca's cousin. Lacking integrity and given to alcoholic behavior, he was Rebecca's lover while she was married to Maxim.
Frank Crawley  -  Maxim's kind, loyal overseer at Manderley, he befriends the heroine almost immediately.
Beatrice -  Maxim's sister. A friendly, outgoing woman with a passion for horses.
Mrs. Van Hopper -  A vulgar, gossipy and wealthy American woman. She employs the heroine as a companion while she travels from one European resort town to another.
Ben -  A harmless man, mildly retarded, who spends much of his time on the beach near Manderley.
Colonel Julyan -  The local magistrate in the region surrounding Manderley
Lady Crowan -  A local noblewoman who suggests that Maxim and the heroine revive the tradition of holding an annual costume ball at Manderley.
Baker -  A London doctor who saw Rebecca the day of her death
Frith -  The butler at Manderley
Clarice -  The heroine's maid
Jasper -  One of Maxim's pet spaniels, and the heroine's favorite

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Maxim's Reliability

by Pimms_delight, October 13, 2014

I disagree with your remake that to question's Maxim's account of Rebecca is to miss the point. The reason we know Maxim is telling the truth (up to a point) is because of everyone else's reactions to Rebecca. Especially Frank and Danvers.

That's what's so scary about Rebecca is that she is forever beautiful, forever young and forever unable to answer our questions. She has planned to tell Frank about what had happened in London that day so she couldn't have had some big conspiracy to get Maxim to kill her, it was probably spur of the... Read more

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