Rebecca

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A mentally challenged gardener who works at Manderley. Like Manderley itself, Ben is a mysterious force in the novel: although he’s dim-witted, he has a good memory, and recalls serving Rebecca de Winter. The fact that Ben—who’s far below the narrator on the social totem pole—has power over the narrator insofar as he knows about Rebecca, is a powerful reminder of Rebecca’s massive influence on life at Manderley.
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Ben Character Timeline in Rebecca

The timeline below shows where the character Ben appears in Rebecca. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10
Feminism and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Place, Imprisonment, and the Gothic Theme Icon
...and Jasper walk back to Maxim. Maxim tells the narrator that the man is named Ben. Maxim also noticed that the narrator entered the cottage. Feeling uncomfortable, the narrator bursts out... (full context)
Chapter 11
Memory Theme Icon
Place, Imprisonment, and the Gothic Theme Icon
Power, Control, and Information Theme Icon
The narrator asks Frank about Ben, the mentally challenged man who was working on the Manderley grounds. The narrator mentions the... (full context)
Chapter 13
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Place, Imprisonment, and the Gothic Theme Icon
Power, Control, and Information Theme Icon
...and he runs toward the cottage nearby. As the narrator approaches the cottage, she notices Ben, who’s hiding behind a wall. Ben sheepishly emerges, and the narrator notices that Ben is... (full context)
Place, Imprisonment, and the Gothic Theme Icon
Power, Control, and Information Theme Icon
Ben tells the narrator, “you’re not like the other one.” He explains that “the other one”... (full context)
Chapter 19
Memory Theme Icon
Place, Imprisonment, and the Gothic Theme Icon
Power, Control, and Information Theme Icon
The narrator sees Ben approaching her. The narrator tells Ben that there must be a hole in the bottom... (full context)
Chapter 24
Memory Theme Icon
Place, Imprisonment, and the Gothic Theme Icon
Power, Control, and Information Theme Icon
...Favell and Colonel Julyan argue, she realizes that there is a witness to Rebecca’s murder: Ben. She remembers what Ben told her: “The fishes have eaten her, haven’t they?” Clearly, he... (full context)
Feminism and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Place, Imprisonment, and the Gothic Theme Icon
Power, Control, and Information Theme Icon
While Frank, Favell, Julyan, Maxim, and the narrator wait for Robert to find Ben, Favell insults Frank. He says that Frank didn’t have much success with Rebecca, but that... (full context)
Memory Theme Icon
Place, Imprisonment, and the Gothic Theme Icon
Power, Control, and Information Theme Icon
Robert returns to Manderley with Ben. Inside, Favell greets Ben and asks Ben if he remembers who he is. Before Ben... (full context)