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The use of symbolism in rebecca a novel by daphne du maurier

She spends her time there for eight years and later becomes a governess at Thornfield Hall, to an eight year old French girl, Adele. She falls in love with her employer, Mr Rochester and is ecstatic when she finds out that he also loves her.

Despite the age difference between them, they decide to get married. On their wedding day Jane discovers that her husband-to-be, Mr Rochester has a mentally disturbed wife who is locked up in the attic at Thornfield.

After making this alarming discovery, she runs away and starts to live life with a family in a woodland cottage. Coincidently, she later discovers that the family she is living with are her long lost cousins.

  • In this way, Danvers makes the narrator feel weak, small and invisible;
  • This is exactly what Rebecca was like, her outer appearance made her look very innocent but in reality she was an unfaithful wife who deceived her husband.

She inherits a fortune off her uncle, and decides to marry one of her cousins, in an attempt to forget her first love Mr Rochester. She is unable to do this, so she returns to Thornfield.

She also learns that Mr Rochester was injured in the fire, and is suffering from blindness and the loss of an arm. Despite his physical disabilities, Jane marries him and gives birth to two of his children. She is also an orphan who is disadvantaged.

Expert Answers

One day she is introduced to a man named Maxim De Winter, after having a few secret meetings with him she falls in love. During her stay in Manderley she is constantly criticized, by Mrs Danvers.

  1. Once again I had the impression that she chose her words with care, that she was feeling her way, as it were, into my mind, and watching for the effect upon my face...
  2. It drives a wedge between the newlyweds, and feeds Danvers desire to see the new Mrs.
  3. She is made to compete with the old Mrs De Winter.
  4. After making this alarming discovery, she runs away and starts to live life with a family in a woodland cottage. There was Manderley, our Manderley, secretive and silent as it had always been...

She is made to compete with the old Mrs De Winter. After suffering a lot of torment from Mrs Danvers she is finally faced with the horrific secret that her husband has kept from her. He shot her but he pretended that she had drowned. She is faced with the same options as Jane Eyre whether she should stay with her husband or leave him.

The authors of both books use symbolism to a great effect. Like most books the symbolism is perceived only after the story has been read completely.

The novels have very similar views to the houses they talk about. They both speak negatively of the houses. The name Thornfield Hall, to start of with, is very symbolic, as the house was where all the lies and dark secrets were kept, therefore a field with many thorns in it. The author of Jane Eyre often uses a contrast between light and dark. This may be symbolic, of Jane not yet knowing about the dark secret about the existence of Bertha Mason inside the house.

The vault is symbolic of a coffin that encases the emotions and feelings of Jane. The church is also where Jane finds out about Edwards secret. These descriptions seem like a perfect setting for a ghostly appearance within the house. The doors inside the house are always closed, this is symbolic to the danger and the secrets that are being kept and disclosed from Jane.

This gives us an idea of the theme of the novel as later on we discover that behind those close doors many dark secrets have been kept. The continuous reference to the house resembling a church gives a hint that there could be a wedding later on in the story. Charlotte Bronte uses the setting to reflect the lives of the characters.

What is a symbol in "Rebecca"?

An example of this is when she emphasizes the opening of doors. Charlotte Bronte uses the settings of the house to describe the plot, theme, and characters of the novel. Mrs De Winter, like Jane also speaks negatively of Manderley and its surroundings. Another symbolic meaning of it could be that it is referring to how Maxim viewed Rebecca to be, like a serpent; evil and resented. This is exactly what Rebecca was like, her outer appearance made her look very innocent but in reality she was an unfaithful wife who deceived her husband.

This can be interpreted in two different ways.

Compare Jane Eyre and Rebecca focusing in particular on each writer’s use of symbolism Paper

One interpretation could be that the love between the newly wedded couple is so strong that nothing can get between them; however another interpretation could be that the new Mrs De Winter felt her life was so thickly closed up that there was very little chance of any happiness coming through, as light is usually always associated with happiness.

The rhododendrons represent Rebecca, who is looking down on Mrs De Winter. Then in the end she takes things slowly as she knows he loves her. The characters in both stories are very similar. Mr Rochester and Mr De Winter have great similarities. They are both previously married before they fall in love with younger women and they both have deadly secrets that they keep from their wives.

They both have a similar financial status as they are quite rich and well off. The characters Jane and Mrs De Winter also have many similarities.

Related Questions

Firstly, both of them came from similar backgrounds where they were not respected and made to feel inferior. They then fall in love with men that are much older than them and they also face similar situations, as both of their husbands confront them about a sinister secret. Both authors use similar techniques in their writing. Not only does the plot of their stories resemble each other, their characters and themes of the story are quite the same.

Other authors tend to use flowers in a more positive way to portray beauty but Daphne Du Maurier does the total opposite, this is one of the things that I enjoyed when reading her novel as it was quite different compared to other novels. How to cite this page Choose cite format: