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My Blog

Rebeca; Chapter 9

The library on St. Simons Island does a novel/movie series every quarter.  This quarter we are doing our series "Hitchcock: Before and After Hollywood" online.  This month we are discussing the novel and movie "Rebecca."  This is a summary of Chapter 9

Chapter 9 
·      When Maxim’s sister, Beatrice, and her husband arrive, the narrator wants to “hide, to get out of the window into the garden…” despising herself as she seeks an escape.
·      The mention that you can leave through the window foreshadows the appearance of Rebecca’s cousin, Favell, in the window. 
·      In trying to escape Beatrice, she tries to find her room,  Instead,  she goes into the other wing of the house – the Rebecca wing. 
·      The narrator notes that from this wing you can view and smell the sea which is used as a threatening symbol, associated with Rebecca.  In wonderful imagery, the narrator says that the mist upon the window is “as though someone had breathed upon it.”
·      The narrator describes Mrs. Danvers’ face as a “mask,” and compares her to a “warden.”
·      When the narrator is caught (by Mrs. Danvers) in the other wing, she feels “guilty and ashamed…”
·      Mrs. Danvers asks her if she wants to see Rebecca’s room and it reminds her of an incident in her childhood, of another child telling her she knew of a book, locked, in her mother’s bedroom.  So, the narrator is reminded of an incident that is associated with sexuality and guilt, and secrets.
·      There is a debate among scholars about the sexuality of the relationship between Mrs. Danvers and Rebecca.  Some see a clear implication of lesbianism.
·      The narrator feels that Mrs. Danvers has been watching her, observing her secretly.  Building the ominous imagery, as she walks down the stairway, she feels Mrs. Danvers behind her, watching her like “a black sentinel.”
·      The narrator finally meets Beatrice, Maxim’s sister.  Beatrice looks her “up and down” but the narrator senses “relief” in Beatrice’s eyes.
·      Crawley helps steer her through difficult subjects in the conversation thereby establishing himself as an ally.
·      She notices that Beatrice says she “hoped” they would be happy, not that she was sure they would be happy.  Beatrice comments on her clothes and that Maxim used to be concerned with clothes and appearances.
·      Beatrice tells the narrator that Mrs. Danvers “simply adored Rebecca.”
·      The narrator feels that Maxim likes her the way she likes Jasper, the dog.
·      Beatrice leaves, saying: “You see…you are so very different from Rebecca.”


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