Texts show us how experience often changes people. 'Rebecca', a novel written by
Daphne Du Maurier illustrates this point. Throughout the engrossing story, the characters
experience much and as a result, the characters undergo both temporary and life-altering
changes to their thoughts, beliefs and behaviour.
In the beginning of the novel, the narrator is the insecure, shy and inexperienced
paid companion of Mrs. Van Hopper. However, when she marries Maxim De Winter her
life totally changes. She enters a new and unknown world as she becomes part of the elite
class of society. She also has to cope with the many responsibilities and expectations
imposed on her as the wife of the famous Maxim De Winter. This experience changes
her into a worldly, more confident woman, but however this is a gradual development.
For example, early in the novel, the narrator has unrealistic romantic fantasies of her and
Maxim. However, after Maxim's blasÃÂ© marriage proposal the reality of the situation
begins to dawn on her :
'And he went on eating his marmalade as though everything were natural. In
books men knelt to women, and it was moonlight. Not at breakfast, not like this.'
Here Mrs. De Winter changes with this experience. Her ideas of love which are
based on works of fiction, are quashed when her romantic expectations remain
unfulfilled. Although her unblemished perception of love begins to crumble in this
instance, later it is rebuilt by the love that she and Maxim share.
On the other hand, Maxim's experience with the narrator is somewhat different.
In the beginning of the novel, he seeks no romantic involvement but seeks
companionship. The experience of close communication with another human being, after
his self-imposed isolation after Rebecca's death, changes Maxim. When Maxim takes the
narrator for a drive...