Stylistic analysis of the part of the novel "Rebecca" by Daphne Du Maurier
Stylistic analysis of the part of the novel "Rebecca" by Daphne Du Maurier
Daphne Du Maurier (13 May 1907–19 April 1989) was born in London. She came from an
artistic family. Her father was the actor-manager Sir Gerald Du Maurier and she
was the granddaughter of caricaturist George Du Maurier. One of her ancestors
was Mary Anne Clarke, the mistress of the duke of York, second son of King
George III. She later became the heroine of Du Maurier's novel MARY ANNE
(1954). In 1831 Mary Anne Clarke's daughter married Louis-Mathurin Busson Du Maurier.
THE GLASS-BLOWERS (1963) was a novel about the Busson family. Her own father
she portrayed in GERALD (1934).
Du Maurier grew up in a
lively London household where friends like J.M. Barrie and Edgar Wallace
visited frequently. Her uncle, a magazine editor, published one of her stories
when she was a teenager and got her a literary agent. Du Maurier attended
schools in London, Meudon, France, and Paris. In her childhood she was a
voracious reader, she was fascinated by imaginary worlds and developed a male
alter ego for herself. Du Maurier also had a male narrator in several novels. She
wrote the first story ‘The thirstys’ when she was just 13 years old. Her first
book, THE LOVING SPIRIT, appeared in 1931. This novel played a main role in her
life. One man was so impressed with this novel that he decided to go to
Cornwall in order to meet an author personally – that man was Daphne’s future
It was followed by
JAMAICA INN (1936), a historical tale of smugglers, which was bought for the
movies, and directed by Alfred Hitchcock - later Hitchcock also used her short
story 'The Birds', a tense tale of nature turning on humanity. FRENCHMAN'S CREEK,
a pirate romance, was filmed in 1944. MY COUSIN RACHEL (1951) was made into
film in 1952. The story examined how a man may be manipulated by a woman, who
perhaps has murdered her husband.
Besides popular novels Du
Maurier published short stories, plays and biographies, among others Branwell
Brontë's, the brother of sisters Anne, Charlotte, and Emily. Her biography
of Francis Bacon, an English statesman in the 1500s and 1600s, appeared in
1976. Du Maurier's autobiography, GROWING PAINS, was published when she was 70.
In the late 1950s, Du Maurier began to take interest in the supernatural.
During this period she wrote several stories, which explored fears and paranoid
fantasies, among them 'The Pool', in which a young girl glimpses a magical
world in the woods, but is later barred from it, and 'The Blue Lenses', in
which a woman sees everyone around her having the head of an animal. In 1970
appeared her second collection of short stories, NOT AFTER MIDNIGHT, which
included 'Don't Look Now', a tale set in Venice, involving a psychic old lady,
a man with the sixth sense, and a murderous dwarf.
It is difficult to define
to which literary current the creativity of Du Maurier can be concerned.
Despite - or perhaps due to - her immense popularity, Du Maurier was long
regarded as a resolutely middlebrow author. However, recent criticism focusing
on the Freudian and Jungian subtexts of her books has forced a reappraisal of
her canon. Although many of her novels rely on the trappings of the romance, a
lot of her best works transcend the genre to achieve a powerful psychological
realism, the others can have the features of fantasy, thriller, history novel
and the novel of suspense, mysticism, psychological or social drama. So her
works consist of the synthesis of different genres and the element almost of
every literary current. In my personal opinion the Daphne’s creativity can be
related to new-romanticism.
In 1932 Du Maurier
married to Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Arthur Montague Browning II, who was
knighted for his distinguished service during World War II. They were happily
married for thirty-three years and had three children; Browning died in 1965. Du
Maurier was made dame in 1969 for her literary distinction. She died on April
The novel REBECCA is among the most memorable in
twentieth-century literature. The story centers on a young and timid heroine.
Her life is made unstable by her strangely behaving husband, Maxim de Winter,
whom she just have married. Maxim is a wealthy widower. His wife Rebecca has
died in mysterious circumstances. His house is ruled by Mrs. Danvers, the
housekeeper. She has made Rebecca's room a shrine. Du Maurier focuses on the
fears and fantasies of the new wife, who eventually learns, that her husband
did not love his former wife, a cruel, egoistical woman.
One of the main images of
the novel a manor Manderley.
When Daphne Du Maurier
was a child she went to stay at a house called Milton. It was a huge house and
very grand with a vast entrance hall, many rooms and a commanding housekeeper.
Daphne liked the house, feeling at home there and held it in her memory.
As a young adult Daphne
discovered Menabilly, the home of the Rashleigh family, situated just outside
Fowey in Cornwall. It was a large house hidden away down a long driveway with
vast grounds surrounded by woodland and a pathway leading down to a cottage
nestled beside the sea. Daphne would visit the house often, trespassing in the
grounds. The house was empty and neglected but she loved it. Much later Daphne
was to live at Menabilly and do much of her writing there and her love for
Menabilly was to last her a lifetime.
It was a combination of
these two houses that became Manderley, the house at the centre of Daphne Du Mauriers
novel Rebecca, which opens with
the famous lines: “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…”
Daphne started to write REBECCA
in the late summer of 1937. Her husband had been posted to Egypt as commanding
officer of the 2nd battalion of the Grenadier Guards and she had left her two
little girls Tessa and Flavia in England with their nanny while she accompanied
him. This enforced separation from her beloved Cornwall must have caused Daphne
to turn her thoughts to writing a novel set in that area and although she could
not know it at the time, she was writing the book that was to become her most
famous work. The book was completed when her husband was posted back to
Aldershot and the family were reunited in a house called Greyfriars near Fleet
in Hampshire. REBECCA was published in April 1938.
The central character is
the second wife of Maxim de Winter. The novel begins with her reflecting on a
dream she has had about Manderley and as she remembers her dream the story
unfolds. The character is never named but she tells the story in the first
person and is traditionally referred to as the narrator.
The story begins in
Monte Carlo where a rich American woman called Mrs Van Hopper is staying with
her paid companion, the young and inexperienced narrator. Mrs Van Hopper
discovers that Maxim de Winter is staying at the same hotel and is eager to
meet him, as an air of mystery and sadness is said to surround him since the
recent death of his wife Rebecca.
Maxim and the narrator
get to know one another. The narrator thinks Maxim is wonderful but his is
twice her age and much more experienced in life than her and despite the fact
that they go out together every day and spend a lot of time together she thinks
Maxim is just being kind to her. When Mrs Van Hopper suddenly decides to leave
Monte Carlo, Maxim asks the narrator to marry him and she accepts. Then Maxim
takes the narrator home to Manderley his country estate in Cornwall…
So this mysterious life
story of new Mrs de Winter began.
In the Christian Science
Monitor, September 14th 1938 page 12, V S Pritchett reviewed REBECCA for the
American public. He said that it had received fabulous reviews in England,
reading almost like advertising copy. He then went on to say that it would be
absurd to make a fuss about REBECCA, which would be here today and gone
tomorrow like the rest of publicity’s masterpieces. How wrong he was, REBECCA
became the most famous of all Daphne Du Maurier’s novels and is still the one
that she is best remembered for. Daphne could never understand its popularity
saying that it was simply a study in jealousy.
Two years later, it was
made into a fabulous four-star movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock (his first
American film) staring Joan Fontaine, Laurence Olivier, George Sanders and
Judith Anderson. It won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Cinematography.
REBECCA has been
variously described, firstly as an example of the Cinderella story but with the
central character being helped from rags to riches by the older man who marries
her rather than the more traditional help of a fairy godmother. REBECCA has
also been described as the first major gothic romance in the 20th century. It
certainly contains all the elements of the great gothic novel and had often
been compared to ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte, with the house so strongly
influenced by the previous occupant, the brooding hero in the shape of Maxim,
the mad woman in the shape of Mrs Danvers, the growing tension, and finally the
house destroyed by fire.
There is another school
of thought that believes the Rebecca, Maxim, narrator triangle is a
reproduction of the relationship between Daphne Du Maurier and her father and
mother or perhaps Daphne, her husband and his previous fiancée. The love
that Daphne and her father Gerald had for one another is well documented, as is
the less comfortable relationship that Daphne had with her mother. It has been
suggested that the younger woman’s struggle to feel secure in the older mans
love because of the influence of the more sophisticated and successful REBECCA
comes from the relationship Daphne had with her parents. Another similar
suggestion comes from the fact that her husband had been engaged to a very
beautiful and self-assured woman before he knew Daphne and although this
relationship was called off, Daphne was consumed with jealousy and doubted that
he could love her as much as he had loved the other woman. It seems likely that
this woman may well have been developed to create the character of Rebecca.
Either way there can be little doubt that the nameless second Mrs de Winter is
none other than Daphne Du Maurier herself.
Over the years many
people have asked why the second Mrs de Winter does not have a name. Daphne Du Maurier’s
reply to this was that she could not think of one and it became a challenge in
technique to write the whole story without naming her. It proved to be a very
effective way of making the character appear to be a lesser person than
In 1939 Daphne Du Maurier
adapted REBECCA for the stage and the play, like the novel, has retained its
popularity ever since. The story does leave one with lots of unanswered
questions and there have been a number of attempts to write sequels to REBECCA.
In 1993 Susan Hill wrote ‘Mrs de Winter’, which continues the story, and in
2001 Sally Beauman wrote ‘Rebeccca’s Tale’, which moves the story on twenty
years and then looks back at what happened with interesting results and without
spoiling any of the tension of the original novel. Undoubtedly the interest in REBECCA
will continue for a long time to come.
I also interested in
REBECCA that’s why I have chosen the following part of the novel to the stylistic
I drummed with my fingers
on the table, uncertain of myself and of him. Was he still laughing at me, was
it all a joke? He looked up, and saw the anxiety on my face. 'I'm being
rather a brute to you, aren't I?' he said; 'this isn't your idea of a
proposal. We ought to be in a conservatory, you in a white frock with a rose in
your hand, and a violin playing a waltz in the distance. And I should make
violent love to you behind a palm tree. You would feel then you were getting
your money's worth. Poor darling, what a shame. Never mind, I'll take you to
Venice for our honeymoon and we'll hold hands in the gondola. But we won't stay
too long, because I want to show you Manderley.'
He wanted to show me
Manderley.... And suddenly I realized that it would all happen; I would be his
wife, we would walk in the garden together, we would stroll down that path in
the valley to the shingle beach. I knew how I would stand on the steps after
breakfast, looking at the day, throwing crumbs to the birds, and later wander
out in a shady hat with long scissors in my hand, and cut flowers for the
house. I knew now why I had bought that picture post-card as a child; it was a
premonition, a blank step into the future.
He wanted to show me
Manderley.... My mind ran riot then, figures came before me and picture after
picture – and all the while he ate his tangerine, giving me a piece now and
then, and watching me. We would be in a crowd of people, and he would say, 'I
don't think you have met my wife.' Mrs de Winter. I would be Mrs de Winter.
I considered my name, and the signature on cheques, to tradesmen, and in
letters asking people to dinner. I heard myself talking on the telephone 'Why
not come down to Manderley next week-end?' People, always a throng of
people. 'Oh, but she's simply charming, you must meet her – This about
me, a whisper on the fringe of a crowd, and I would turn away, pretending I had
Going down to the lodge
with a basket on my arm, grapes and peaches for the old lady who was sick. Her
hands stretched out to me, 'The Lord bless you, Madam, for being so good,'
and my saying 'Just send up to the house for anything you want.' Mrs de
Winter. I would be Mrs de Winter. I saw the polished table in the dining-room,
and the long candles. Maxim sitting at the end. A party of twenty-four. I had a
flower in my hair. Everyone looked towards me, holding up his glass. 'We
must drink the health of the bride,' and Maxim saying afterwards, 'I
have never seen you look so lovely.' Great cool rooms, filled with flowers.
My bedroom, with a fire in the winter, someone knocking at the door. And a
woman comes in, smiling; she is Maxim's sister, and she is saying, 'It's
really wonderful how happy you have made him; everyone is so pleased, you are
such a success.' Mrs de Winter. I would be Mrs de Winter.
'The rest of the
tangerine is sour, I shouldn't eat it,' he said, and I stared at him, the words going slowly to my
head, then looked down at the fruit on my plate. The quarter was hard and pale.
He was right. The tangerine was very sour. I had a sharp, bitter taste in my
mouth, and I had only just noticed it.
REBECCA was translated
into Russian by the talented interpreter Halina Ostrovskaya. The offered part
of text was translated in such way:
пальцами по столу, я ничего не понимала, ни его, ни себя. Он все еще смеется
надо мной? Это шутка? Он поднял глаза и увидел тревогу у меня на лице.
— Я безобразно
себя веду, да? — сказал он. — Разве так делают предложения?! Мы должны
были бы сидеть в оранжерее, ты — в белом платье и с розой в руке, а издалека
доносились бы звуки вальса. На скрипке. И я должен был бы страстно объясняться
тебе в любви позади пальмы. Ты так все это себе представляешь? Тогда бы ты
чувствовала, что получила все сполна. Бедная девочка. Просто стыд и срам. Ну,
не важно, я увезу тебя на медовый месяц в Венецию, и мы будем держаться за руки
в гондоле. Но мы не останемся там надолго, потому что я хочу показать тебе
Он хочет показать
мне Мэндерли... И внезапно я осознала, что это действительно произойдет, я
стану его женой, мы будем гулять вместе в саду, пройдем по тропинке к морю, к
усеянному галькой берегу. Я уже видела, как стою после завтрака на ступенях,
глядя, какая погода, кидая крошки птицам, а позднее, в шляпе с большими полями,
с длинными ножницами в руках выхожу в сад и срезаю цветы для дома. Теперь я
знала, почему купила в детстве ту открытку. Это было предчувствие, неведомый
мне самой шаг в будущее.
Он хочет показать
мне Мэндерли... Воображение мое разыгралось, передо мной одна за другой
замелькали картины, возникли какие-то фигуры... и все это время он ел мандарин,
не спуская с меня глаз и подкладывая мне время от времени дольку. Вот мы в
толпе людей, и он произносит: «Вы, кажется, еще не знакомы с моей женой».
Миссис де Уинтер. Я буду миссис де Уинтер. Я подумала, как это будет звучать,
как будет выглядеть подпись на чеках торговцам и на письмах с приглашением к
обеду. Я слышала, как говорю по телефону: «Почему бы вам нее приехать в
Мэндерли в конце следующей недели?» Люди, всегда масса людей. «О, она
просто обворожительна. Вы должны с ней познакомиться...» Это обо мне —
шепоток, пробегающий в толпе, и я отворачиваюсь, дела вид, что ничего не
Прогулка в домик
привратника, в руке корзинка с виноградом и персиками для его прихворнувшей
престарелой матушки. Ее руки, протянутые ко мне: «Благослови вас Господь,
мадам, вы так добры», — и я в ответ: «Присылайте к нам за всем, что вам
может понадобиться». Миссис де Уинтер. Я видела полированный стол в
столовой и высокие свечи. Максим во главе стола. Прием на двадцать четыре
персоны. У меня в волосах роза. Все глядят на меня, подняв бокалы. «За
здоровье новобрачной». А потом, после их отъезда, Максим: «Я еще никогда
не видел тебя такой прелестной». Большие прохладные комнаты полны цветов.
Моя спальня зимой, с горящим камином. Стук в дверь. Входит незнакомая женщина,
она улыбается, это сестра Максима. «Просто удивительно, каким вы его сделали
счастливым, все в таком восторге, вы имеете огромный успех!» — говорит она.
Миссис де Уинтер. Я буду миссис де Уинтер...
— Эти дольки
кислые, я бы не стал их есть, — сказал он, я уставилась на него — до меня с трудом дошел
смысл его слов, — затем посмотрела на четвертушку мандарина, лежащую передо
мной на тарелке. Она была жесткой и светлой. Он прав. Мандарин был очень
кислый. Во рту у меня щипало и горчило, а я только сейчас это заметила.
It is meaningful to
explain a situation, which had taken place up to this fragment. The main
heroes, Maxim and the narrator, were having a breakfast. Maxim asked the
narrator to marry him. By the way before that scene Maxim frequently told the
narrator about his famous manor Manderley. And she recollected a long time ago,
when she was just a child, she had bought a card with a photo of a manor and
had fallen in love with this majestic house. It’s interesting that the novel
opens not with the exposition. In the beginning of REBECCA we learn about the outcome,
which will be described after in the form of the main heroine’s memoirs. So we
have the composite device of ‘the story in the story’.
To begin the stylistic
analysis we ought to mention that the narration is conducted from the first
person that’s why the described events had subjective character. The author has
a possibility not just to show some events, but also to open the internal world
of the storyteller. It defines the specificity of the further reader's
Stylistic morphology. In the given part of the text we
can find a few usages devices of the stylistic morphology. It is necessary to
emphasize a transposition. It is the usage of a word-form in unusual
context where it gets unusual meaning. Framed in transposition some abstract
nouns can get meaning of an object: 'It's really wonderful how happy you
have made him; everyone is so pleased, you are such a success'. In
this example the abstract noun success is combined with a pronoun and so
gets a tinge of an object.
Also there is a
stylistic device of categories of time usage. In the given text fragment we
have the narrator’s dreams about her future marriage. In the beginning her
thoughts have grammatically correct construction, according to the sequence of
tenses and the conditional modality: ‘I would be his wife, we would
walk in the garden together, we would stroll down that path in the
valley to the shingle beach’; ‘We would be in a crowd of people,
and he would say…’ But the heroine is so fascinated in a considering
of the future, that her thoughts are becoming chaotic, incorrect from the angle
of the grammar. In order to create an effect of a flow of consciousness the
author uses participles (it will be described in my work later), and the forms
of the present tense instead of the past tense: ‘And a woman comes in,
smiling; she is Maxim's sister, and she is saying…’ Du
Maurier used this device for showing the described events more vividly, for
providing the visual demonstration.
We can see there a lot of
participles: ‘Going down to the lodge with a basket on my arm’; ‘Maxim
sitting at the end’; ‘Someone knocking at the door’.
Mainly such constructions are used not as a part of the sentence. They are used
separately, turning into the incomplete sentences. The usage of participles
is a stylistic device which helps to show a flow of consciousness. The
functions of the usage of categories of tense and the usage of participles are
similar. The usage of the participle forms as the basic element of the
incomplete sentence helps to achieve the effect of the free ragged idea which
has been not subordinated to rules of grammar, therefore so real and alive.
The other form of the
stylistic morphology is the usage of the pronouns. During the novel we
have not found out a name of the main heroine. The author almost all the time
used for her description the various forms of pronouns: ‘I drummed
with my fingers on the table’; ‘I'm being rather a brute to you’;
‘Oh, but she's simply charming, you must meet her’. More
often Daphne used different variants of I, because the story goes from
first person. Such stylistic device pursues simultaneously some purposes. With
its help the author enters the reader in the thick of things, representing the
unknown as already known. The usage of pronouns in such cases specifies
intimacy, trusting intonation between the author and the reader, as though the
reader is included in conversation and becomes listener and its direct
participant. Also the given device can be used in order to create an internal
monologue or flow of consciousness and it finds an expression in the analyzable
So in the given part of
the text we have 4 examples of using the devices of the stylistic morphology.
Stylistic syntax. The style of any work as well as
the style of the any author is substantially defined by the syntax. The
syntactic organization of speech is one of the basic means of the literary art.
There are a lot of devices of the stylistic syntax in the analyzable text
fragment. Repetition – the stylistic device which serves to emphasize the state
of the personage or character overcome by strong emotions. The author draws our
attention to something. The repetitions are quite often met in REBECCA.
In the given part of the text we meet the line ‘He wanted to show me
Manderley...’ two times. Du Maurier accented the reader’s attention on that
because the fact, that Maxim wanted to show the narrator his manor, is very
important for the main heroine. From the childhood she was dreaming to see that
wonderful house and now she could be an owner of it. And it is important that
Maxim wanted to it her. His patrimonial manor is extremely significant
for him. And the fact that he wanted to show Manderley her meant for the
narrator that she is important for him. The line ‘Mrs de Winter. I would be
Mrs de Winter’ is met three times. The narrator repeated that phrase for
two reasons. On the one hand, the heroine could not believe that she would be
Maxim’s wife and so she repeated it to herself. On the other hand, with every
repetition she enjoyed the understanding that it all would happen with her. And
thus she tried to get used that soon she would began to play a new role – she
would a wife of the rich person of consequence instead of being the underpaid
companion for the old lady. And besides the line ‘Mrs de Winter. I would be
Mrs de Winter’ is so-called repetition in the repetition because this line
illustrates the repetition itself but it also contains a repeated element Mrs
de Winter: ‘Mrs de Winter. I would be Mrs de Winter’.
This element has the same function as well as all line, but owing to its double
repetition we meet it in the text six times so the author six times accented
reader’s attention on the dreams of the narrator about her future married life.
The similar repeated element can be mentioned in the line: ‘People,
always a throng of people’. But in the first example this element
stronger, because it represents the nominative sentence by itself, it breaks
one semantically homogeneous phrase on two parts.
Parenthetic sentences / parenthesis – is an explanatory or qualifying
word, clause, or sentence inserted into a passage with which it has not
necessarily any grammatical connection, and from which it is usually marked off
by round or square brackets, dashes, or
commas. In the given part of the text we have just one example of such
mind ran riot then, figures came before me and picture after picture – and
all the while he ate his tangerine, giving me a piece now and then, and
watching me’. In this example the author wanted to show the difference between the
imagined and the real events with a help of the given stylistic device. Also parenthesis
creates effect of a mockery. The parenthetic sentence emphasizes, that the heroine’s imagination withdraw
her far from the reality, because she is a dreamer, filled with the youthful maximalism
and superfluous haste. Also this way shows a difference between the naive
dreamy young story-teller and experienced cynical Maxim de Winter. But even
experienced Maxim was delighted with a lovely children's spontaneity of the
Parallelism is a balance of two or more
similar words, phrases,
or clauses. The application of parallelism in
sentence construction improves writing style and readability.
In fiction the basic function of parallelism is the amplification of the
communicative and expressive importance of the statement There are a few
examples of the parallel constructions: ‘…we would walk in the garden together, we would
stroll down that path in the valley to the shingle beach’ (parallel grammatical bases
of the sentence); ‘I
knew how I would stand on the steps after breakfast, looking at the day,
throwing crumbs to the birds’(parallel participles); ‘I considered my name, and the signature on
cheques, to tradesmen, and in letters asking people to dinner’ (parallel objects); ‘I saw the polished table in
the dining-room, and the long candles’ (parallel objects); ‘Great cool rooms, filled with flowers. My bedroom,
with a fire in the winter…’ (parallel subjects in the nominative sentences).
are the sentences with an incomplete syntactic basis. In these sentences the
main component expressed by a noun. Such sentences are distributed by the words
with emotional connotation, they have laconic brevity and certain
‘People, always a throng of people’; ‘My bedroom, with a fire in the winter’; ‘A party of twenty-four’. It is also often used in
spoken language, so the author needs this device in describing an internal
monologue or flow of consciousness.
Aposiopesis is a stylistic device by which the
writer deliberately stops short and leaves something unexpressed, but yet
obvious, to be supplied by the imagination, giving the impression that she is
unwilling or unable to continue. It often portrays being overcome with passion
(fear, anger, excitement) or modesty. The ellipsis is also used in the
constructions with aposiopesis. There is an example in the offered fragment: ‘He
wanted to show me Manderley...’ Daphne Du Maurier made break in the text
because the story-teller of the novel was too exited to continue the narration
therefore the pause was necessary for her to realize idea of the statement.
Ellipsis – is a figure of speech, the
omission of a word or words required by strict grammatical rules but not by
sense. The missing words are implied by the context. In the novel this
reception is used rather frequently, because the story goes from the first
person. This device is used to create an effect of the colloquial language, to
represent an internal monologue or flow of consciousness, so to show such
speech sphere, where the man does not need to be guided by rules of grammar in
order to create the statement. Ellipsis may convey the emotional state of the
narrator. ‘Why not
come down to Manderley next week-end?’ – in this sentence a subject and an auxiliary verb
a figure of speech in
the form of a question posed for special effect rather than for the purpose of
getting an answer. Such constructions we can find in the analyzable part of the
text in the thoughts of the narrator ‘Was he still laughing at me, was it all a joke?’, and in the direct speech
of Maxim ‘I'm being
rather a brute to you, aren't I?’. These questions require no answer. The heroes set such
question to themselves or assert obvious in the form of a question.
Metonymy refers to the use of a single characteristic to identify a more
complex entity and is one of the basic characteristics of cognition. It is extremely common for people
to take one well-understood or easy-to-perceive aspect of something and use
that aspect to stand either for the thing as a whole or for some other aspect
or part of it. It is based on the associations between two concepts: the object
implied and object named. In the given fragment of REBECCA there is just one
example of metonymy: ‘…and a violin playing a waltz in the distance’. Course, we understand that
the violin can not play by itself that the musician plays on it. But Du Maurier
transfer attributes of the man on the musical instrument, omitted man’s
necessity, invested it with the ability to play independently.
Metaphor – is defined as a direct comparison between two or more seemingly
unrelated subjects. More generally, a metaphor casts a first subject as being
or equal to a second subject in some way. Thus, the first subject can be
economically described because implicit and explicit attributes from the second
subject are used to enhance the description of the first. With a help of such
device few words, emotions and associations from one context are associated
with objects and entities in a different context. In the analyzable part of the
text we can see the metaphor: ‘This about me, a whisper on the fringe of a crowd…’ It is known, that there is
no fringe at a crowd. Nevertheless we always can use phrases such as at the
centre of a crowd. On logic if there is a centre so there is a fringe. Thus
the author allocate concept crowd with characteristics of the concept city.
And the author attribute to crowd an opportunity to have characteristic
feature of city. The given metaphor makes the language of a narration
more figurative and associative, so it becomes more stylistically decorated.
The next metaphor is ‘It was a premonition, a blank step into the future’. The metaphor a step
into the future is settled that’s why some stylists do not allocate given
expression as a metaphor at all. But there we also have an attribute blank,
which makes this metaphor unique. It means the subconscious, unknown step into
the future. This metaphor describes something indissolubly and imperceptibly
which had connected the main heroine with her future, had given the prompting
about what this future will be.
Oxymorons are a proper subset of the
expressions called contradictions
in terms. What distinguishes oxymorons from other paradoxes and
contradictions is that they are used intentionally, for rhetorical effect, and
the contradiction is only apparent, as the combination of terms provides a
novel expression of some concept. In REBECCA’s fragment we have ‘violent love’. To describe such feeling
as love the positive adjectives are used more often. In the given example the
adjective with negative colouring is used thus it receives the meaning strong.
Personification – is the presentation of
unanimated objects, phenomena or ideas as if they were human beings. It makes
the narration more emphatic: ‘…the words going slowly to my head’.
Epithet is a descriptive word or
phrase that has become a fixed formula. It has various shades of meaning when
applied to real or fictitious people, divinities, objects and biological
nomenclature. It also means a derogatory word or phrase used to insult someone.
In the given fragment of the text we can find three groups of epithets. There
are simple epithets which just characterize the objects and subjects: ‘white frock’; ‘shady hat’; ‘long
scissors’; ‘old lady’; ‘long candles’; ‘great
cool rooms’; ‘the tangerine was very sour’; ‘I had a sharp,
bitter taste’. We can see a number of estimated epithets which give
an evaluation of the subjects and objects: ‘she’s simply charming’;
‘for being so good’; ‘you look so lovely’; ‘how happy
you have made him’. And there are only two examples of the expressive and
figurative epithet: ‘poor darling’; ‘violent love’.
Antonomasia is a stylistic device: the
substitution of any epithet or phrase for a proper name; the opposite
substitution of a proper name for some generic term is also sometimes called
antonomasia. The surname of the main hero of the novel is de Winter.
Probably, Du Maurier wanted that such surname represented Maxim as cold,
secluded, prickly person. But even heart of Mr de Winter can melt,
warming with love. By the way, this surname suits his ex-wife Rebecca
(somewhere in the text of the novel is told, that she was perfect by her ice
beauty), and it contradicts with the essence of his unnamed new wife.
Synonymia is the use of several
synonyms together to amplify or explain a given subject or term. It is a kind
of repetition that adds emotional force or intellectual clarity. Synonymia
often occurs in parallel fashion. The novel REBECCA contains interesting cases
of synonymia using. As it’s already mentioned
the main heroine is not named and she is often described by pronouns. So
pronouns can be enlisted in a synonymic line of the words, which are described
the narrator. From the lexis of the given fragment we can separate such
synonyms: I, you, wife, Mrs,
she, madam, bride. All offered
synonyms are used by the author to replace a name of the narrator, to keep an
intrigue, and at the same time to show, that the main heroine of the novel can
remain unnamed all the time. Sometimes Daphne names the heroine on a surname de
Winter, but it is not enlisted in a synonymic line, because the author makes it
to show, that the girl is married now and in many ways she depends on her husband,
and on the other hand - to show that from now on she will be compared with Maxim’s
devices of semasiology are used to create interesting turns of a plot. For
example, during all the fragment Du Maurier forces a situation, creates an
atmosphere of suspense – is a deliberate postponing of the completion of
the main sort until the end of the utterance. It produces psychological effect,
conveys the stays of expectation, uncertainty. The author interrupts the
narration to describe naive dreams of the heroine. Such lyrical deviation
forces the reader to expect impatiently, how the main turn of a plot will be
Also the given
part of the text demonstrate the element of irony, mockery. For example,
when the romantic ideas of the heroine were rudely interrupted by the Maxim’s
statement about the tangerine. This the moment is very symbolical. It is
possible to say, that the life of the narrator will be not as sweet as she dreamt,
but as bitter, as that tangerine.
In the analyzable
part of the novel the atmosphere of suspense and some irony elements were
described with a help of anticlimax – is an abrupt declension (either
deliberate or unintended) on the part of a writer from the dignity of idea
which he appeared to be aiming at. Anticlimax deforms the narration in the
highest point by the final notion as something opposite to what was expected.
In REBECCA at that moment, when the dreams absorbed the narrator, with the help
of this device the idyll of romanticism was destroyed by absolutely not
romantic utterance about sour fruit.
In the given fragment of REBECCA we can find two examples of using
phraseological units: ‘You would feel then you were getting your money's worth’ (it means to get something worth the price that
you paid); ‘My mind ran riot then…’ (if your imagination, emotions,
thoughts etc run riot, you cannot or do not control them). The stylistic function of
phraseological units is not nominating of any new phenomena, they give a
concrete definition and figuratively emotional evaluation of the subjects,