Discussion Questions Rebecca CHs 13-17

Discussion Questions for Group 8: KC, LR, IS, JT

1. In Chapter 14, Mrs. Danvers gives the narrator a creepy tour of Manderley’s west wing:

“’Now you are here, let me show you everything,’ she said, her voice ingratiating and sweet as honey, horrible, false. ‘I know you want to see it all, you’ve wanted to for a long time, and you were too shy to ask. It’s a lovely room, isn’t it? The loveliest room you have ever seen.’ She took hold of my arm, and walked me towards the bed. I could not resist her, I was like a dumb thing. The touch of her hand made me shudder. And her voice was low and intimate, a voice I hated and feared” (170).

What type of tone and body language does Mrs. Danvers use during the tour? What does this tell you about Mrs. Danvers’ character?  How does the tour add to the gothic sense of the house? How does the tour affect the relationship between the narrator and Mrs. Danvers?

2. In Chapter 13 we meet Mr. Favell who has come to visit “Danny” (Mrs. Danvers). When he finds the narrator hiding behind the door to avoid running into him, he begins small talk with her about Maxim:

“‘How’s old Max?’ he said.

“I was surprised at his tone. It sounded as though he knew him well. It was queer, to hear Maxim talked of as Max. No one called him that.

“’He’s very well, thank you,” I said, “He’s gone up to London.’

“’And left the bride all alone?  Why, that’s too bad. Isn’t he afraid someone will come and carry you off?’” (162).

What do his visit and manners (e.g., use of informal names like Max and Danny) tell you about his character? How would you describe the relationship between Mr. Favell and Mrs. Danvers? What affect does Mr. Favell’s visit have on both the narrator and Mrs. Danvers?

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This entry was posted in Barrier, Character Analysis, Daphne Du Maurier, Mood, Rebecca, relationships, Tone. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Discussion Questions Rebecca CHs 13-17

  1. KE says:

    During the tour Mrs. Danvers gave to Mes. De Winter you get a real sense of creepiness. The description of Mrs. Danvers body language is part of what makes this part so creepy. ” She bent down to me, her skulls face close, her dark eyes searching mine…” The language used to express her and how she was gripping Mrs. De Winters arm really allowed me to picture what was happening and I could only imagine how creepy I think it would have been if I was there alone with Mrs. Danvers.

    Also I think the way Mrs. Danvers describes Rebeccas every move throughout the night that they use to perform together really made it feel like Rebecca was still living there, you could easily imagine Mes. Danvers brushing Rebeccas hair. Mrs.Danvers confirms this presence of her when she says ” I feel her everywhere” and I think that is important in adding to the gothic feel of the novel and Manderely.

  2. RT says:

    Mrs. Danvers presents creepy qualities to add to the gothic theme of the novel when giving the tour to the narrator. They way she grabs the narrator almost shows that she owns the narrator because she can control her actions since the narrator does not know how to rule the house on her own. I think Mrs. Danvers physical characteristics only emphasize the creepiness of of the actual house since she is the main servant. As she goes through the tour, she keeps mentioning Rebecca as if Rebecca was still there. It gives the sense that Rebecca’s ghost is very prominent and the narrator gets to know Rebecca as a person without ever even meeting her. The ghostly presence of Rebecca in every corner of the house almost makes Manderley like a haunted house.

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