Isp Critical Journals: Submission Three
Novel read: Rebecca
Author: Daphne DuMaurier

I enjoyed the novel Rebecca thoroughly because of its many plot twists, suspense,
universal themes and realistic characters. This novel ties closely with the novel Jane Eyre ,
in theme, plot and characters. My second novel A Room With A View has similar women
characters and themes but has a very dissimilar plot line. All three of the novels are set in
Italy in the early 1900’s. All three authors wrote love stories that included a strong willed
man and an inferior woman.

I found Daphne DuMaurier and Charlotte Bronte’s writing styles similar in many
ways. Rebecca is written in the first person as a memory from the past. The novel begins
by sinking directly into the story, “ Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly
again.”(DuMaurier 5). At no point in the novel does the author get so wrapped up in
description that you loose the story. We learn about the authors characters through their
actions and insight from other characters. A Room With A View, begins by describing a
elegant dining room in the present tense. Although this description gives you a clear view
of the setting it looses the readers interest in the first few pages. Jane Eyre, commences
with , “There was no possibility of taking a walk that day” (Bronte 3). This quote shows
Charlotte Bronte introducing her novel also in the past tense as a vivid memory.

All three novels included the character of a very inferior feeling, plain woman.
Although all three of these characters begin with low self esteem they evolve throughout
the novel and end as very strong respectful women. In Rebecca the main character’s name
was Mrs. De Winter. Rebecca is Mr. De Winter’s first wife and is only reflected as a
memory of the past. In Jane Eyre the character’s name was Jane and in A Room With A
View , the character’s name was Lucy. Mrs. De Winter in the novel, Rebecca, looks back
on herself and states, “ I have lost my diffidence, my timidity, my shyness with strangers. I
am very different from that self who drove to Manderly for the first time, hopeful and
eager, handicapped by a rather desperate gaucherie and filled with an intense desire to
please. It was my lack of poise of course that made such a bad impression on people like
Mrs. Danvers.”(DuMaurier 13). This quote shows how Mrs. De Winter has become
strong since the first time she seen the enormous mansion called Manderly. All three ladies
are dressed quite plain in the novels. This characteristic parallels the ladies plain
personalities. Jane describes her attire as, “ I dressed myself with care: obliged to be plain
- for I had no article of attire that was not made with extreme simplicity - I was still by
nature solicitous to be neat. I ever wished to look as well as I could, and to please as much
as my want of beauty would permit.” (Bronte 35). Although Jane, Lucy and Mrs. De
Winter are shown at the beginning of the novels as plain and inferior they all have a place
in their hearts to be strong and confident. Throughout the novel A Room With A View ,
Mr. Bebbe expresses his feelings by saying, “ If Lucy lived as passionately as she played
the piano she would become an extraordinary person”(Forster 62). . This quote illustrates
Lucy’s place in her heart of sophistication and brilliance. All three women were seen as
inferior and impressionable, but, showed potential of strong characters. All three
characters evolved into confident women and became the characters they were in their
hearts.

The main women characters were initially weak, but, evolve to be the strongest
characters in the novel, the three men characters in the novels were confident and
oblivious to what their wife or finance is feeling. In the novel Jane Eyre, Rochester is the
object of Jane’s affection. Rochester says to Jane in a meeting, “You examine me, Miss
Eyre,’ said he: ‘do you think me handsome?’(Bronte 114). Jane replies, ‘ I should, if I had
deliberated, have replied to this question by something conventionally vague and polite;
but the answer somehow slipped from my tongue before I was aware- ‘No, sir.’(Bronte
114). Jane is very nervous and trembles when Rochester is around. When Rochester enters
the household he is highly respected and all the housemaids run around to complete his
every whim. Mrs. Fairfax described Mr. Rochester as, “ He is considered a