Narrator’s Search for Identity in Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Keywords:Identity, Femininity, Surrender, Lesbianism, Marriage, Gender Roles.
Rebecca is a novel written by Daphne du Maurier who has often been compared to Charlotte
Bronte, particularly for this novel. The issue of identity figures extensively throughout the
novel as the protagonist, the heroine of the novel remains nameless through the course of the
story. Her predicament begins when she acquires an identity of Mrs de Winter, being Maxim’s
second wife. The identity of first wife Rebecca haunts her through everything that has her
signature on it at Manderley, the family home of de Winters. She is reminded of it everyday.
Her journey from a paid ‘friend of the bosom’ of Mrs Van Hopper to Mrs de Winters is swift,
but once she is at Manderley it takes her husband to confess that he murdered Rebecca for
the narrator to finally feel secure in the new identity. Yet, the narrator remains nameless and
ambitionless, just comfortable in her husband’s skin.
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