by: Daphne du Maurier

Chapters 1-4

Summary Chapters 1-4

But while Maxim is painted vividly, the heroine--"with straight bobbed hair and youthful unpowdered face... trailing in the wake of Mrs. Van Hopper like a shy, uneasy colt"--seems to vanish into the background. We are told neither her first name, nor the family name that she gives up to become Mrs. de Winter; this lack of a name symbolizes her search for identity, a search that constitutes one of the novel's main themes. Indeed, Rebecca is in large part the story of the heroine's psychological quest for her own selfhood; and our constant sense that the heroine is in danger of failing in this quest provides much of the novel's suspense.