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Stylistic analysis of the part of the novel ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne Du Maurier

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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 husband.

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 Bronte’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 19, 1989.

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 fiancee. 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 Rebecca.

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 analysis:

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 not
heard.

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:

Я барабанила 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 Мэндерли.

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 слышала.

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 recognition.

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 fragment.

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 construction: ‘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’. 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 narrator.

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).

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 expressiveness: ‘Mrs de Winter’;
‘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 are omitted.

Rhetorical question is 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.

Stylistic semasiology. 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 ex-wife.

Some stylistic 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
finished.

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.

Stylistic lexicology. 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, phenomena, actions.

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