Rebecca

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Frank Crawley Character Analysis

Frank Crawley, the manager and businessman of the Manderley estate, is one of the most interesting characters in Rebecca. Although he’s not directly involved in any of the main storylines of the novel, he’s an important influence on the narrator, and even a potential lover. At more than one point, Crawley appears to be the narrator’s only friend at Manderley—we could easily see the two of them having an affair right under the oblivious Maxim’s nose. Eventually, however, we come to see that Frank is an honorable man, and fiercely loyal to Maxim. By the same logic, the narrator’s refusal to pursue her interest in Frank any further is an important sign of her strength and independence.

Frank Crawley Quotes in Rebecca

The Rebecca quotes below are all either spoken by Frank Crawley or refer to Frank Crawley . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Memory Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Harper edition of Rebecca published in 2006.
Chapter 11 Quotes

“I ought to have told you all this before,” I said.
“I wish you had,” he said. “I might have spared you some worry.”
“I feel happier,” I said, “much happier. And I've got you for my friend whatever happens, haven't I, Frank?”
“Yes, indeed,” he said.
We were out of the dark.

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), Frank Crawley
Page Number: 136
Explanation and Analysis:

Here the narrator talks with Frank Crawley, an accountant and administrator of the Manderley estate. The narrator finds that she's comfortable opening up to Frank about her frustrations with her marriage. Frank assures that narrator that Maxim has done a good thing by marrying her: the narrator is actually superior to Rebecca in every way, since she's kind, sincere, and honest. Inspired by Frank's calm manner, the narrator feels comfortable talking about her feelings, and instantly gets the consolation she'd been hoping for. In other words, the narrator learns that she's partly to blame for her own anxiety: if she'd only open up about her feelings, then she wouldn't feel so anxious.

The passage is also important in that it hints at a possible romance between Crawley and the narrator. The narrator's "comfort" around Frank seems to suggest that she feels closer to him than to her own husband--although nothing ever explicitly comes of this connection.

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Chapter 27 Quotes

I would learn more about the estate, too. I should ask Frank to explain things to me. I was sure Frank liked me. I liked him, too. I would go into things, and learn how they were managed. What they did at the farm. How the work in the grounds was planned. I might take to gardening myself, and in time have one or two things altered. That little square lawn outside the morning-room with the statue of the satyr. I did not like it. We would give the satyr away. There were heaps of things that I could do, little by little. People would come and stay and I should not mind. There would be the interest of seeing to their rooms, having flowers and books put, arranging the food. We would have children. Surely we would have children.

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), Maximilian de Winter , Frank Crawley
Page Number: 382
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, the narrator and Maxim de Winter are driving back to Manderley, having resolved the mystery of Rebecca's "illness." With law enforcement satisfied that Rebecca died by suicide, Maxim is free of all suspicion--in short, he and the narrator can finally begin their life as a married couple, finally free of Rebecca's influence. In the car, the narrator plans her new life as Maxim's wife. Although she's been living at Manderley for months now, it's as if she's going there for the first time: she envisions doing all the things she should have been doing all along. The narrator has been too intimidated by Rebecca's memory to play the part of the aristocrat's wife--now, however, she's looking forward to doing so.

And yet there's a subtle hint that all is not well. The mention of Frank "liking" her suggests that the narrator is still a little dissatisfied with her marriage. (Notice that the narrator insists, "We would have children," even though the only man named in the passage is Frank, not Maxim) In short, the narrator seems be settling into her role as Maxim's wife, planning to host parties and give birth to children--as a good wife ought to, she believes--and yet there's also a suggestion that she's not entirely comfortable with such a role.

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Frank Crawley Character Timeline in Rebecca

The timeline below shows where the character Frank Crawley appears in Rebecca. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9
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...that Major Giles and Beatrice Lacy—Maxim’s sister and brother-in-law—are waiting for her downstairs, along with Frank Crawley, the Manderley “agent” and estate manager. The narrator dresses quickly, then comes downstairs to... (full context)
Chapter 11
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At the end of the day, the narrator drives back to Manderley and finds Frank Crawley waiting there. He greets the narrator, and the narrator thinks that she finds him... (full context)
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The narrator asks Frank about Ben, the mentally challenged man who was working on the Manderley grounds. The narrator... (full context)
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The narrator, sensing that Frank is going to be honest with her, asks Frank how Rebecca died. He explains that... (full context)
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The narrator tries to explain herself to Frank. She tells him that everyone in her new life compares her to Rebecca. She admits... (full context)
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The narrator and Frank walk back to the front of Manderley. The narrator asks Frank if Rebecca was beautiful,... (full context)
Chapter 16
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...proposed. Maxim and the narrator are entertaining a number of unexpected guests for lunch, including Frank Crawley and several of Maxim’s friends. One of the guests is Lady Crowan, a boring... (full context)
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After the guests leave, the narrator, Frank, and Maxim discuss the idea of a ball. The narrator complains that Lady Crowan is... (full context)
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...Clarice, the narrator’s favorite maid, tells the narrator that she’s excited for the big night. Frank and the servants spend weeks preparing for the ball. The narrator tries to think of... (full context)
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...has turned out beautifully. She decides to keep her costume a secret from Maxim and Frank until the last minute. (full context)
Chapter 17
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...that the narrator was trying to shock him. Beatrice has “covered” for the narrator, enlisting Frank and Giles to make up a story about the dress not fitting. Quietly, the narrator... (full context)
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...his discontent. Guests ask the narrator about her white dress, which, thanks to Giles and Frank, everyone thinks was too small for her to wear. The narrator makes jokes about the... (full context)
Chapter 18
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...spends the afternoon playing with Jasper. When she can’t distract herself any more, she calls Frank at the estate office. Frank reports that Maxim isn’t with him. The narrator tells Frank... (full context)
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The narrator waits for Frank to arrive. She senses that she’ll never see Maxim again—that he’s left her forever. She... (full context)
Chapter 19
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The narrator stares out at the ocean, and sees Frank. Frank greets the narrator cheerily and tells her to “join in the fun.” A team... (full context)
Chapter 20
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...way of opening up to her: she’d seemed aloof, and more interested in talking to Frank than to him. (full context)
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...into a grand estate. But slowly, she began to grow idle. She would flirt with Frank, trying to meet him alone in the cottage. Eventually, Frank, who was loyal to Maxim,... (full context)
Chapter 21
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In the afternoon, Colonel Julyan comes to Manderley with Maxim and Frank Crawley. The narrator remembers seeing the Colonel at the ball, dressed as Oliver Cromwell (a... (full context)
Chapter 22
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...unlikable man who married a “young girl” as soon as he could after Rebecca’s death. Frank visits the house and instructs Maxim and the narrator about the inquest to come. The... (full context)
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...insists that she wants to come along. They drive to the local police station with Frank. When they arrive at the station, the narrator says that she’s changed her mind—she’d prefer... (full context)
Chapter 23
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When the narrator regains consciousness, she finds Frank standing with her outside the station. Frank suggests that they go back to Manderley, but... (full context)
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Over the narrator’s protestations, Frank drives the narrator back to Manderley, and then drives back to the station to assist... (full context)
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...will be buried that evening. The narrator waits in her bedroom, imagining Maxim standing with Frank and Colonel Julyan, listening to the priest read Rebecca a prayer. While Maxim is out,... (full context)
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...tells Favell to leave immediately. Favell tells Maxim he knows that Maxim, the narrator, and Frank know the truth about Rebecca—i.e., they know that Rebecca and Favell were lovers. Favell says... (full context)
Chapter 24
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...Julyan insists that Favell is drunk and delusional—nothing he says should be taken too seriously. Frank interjects that Favell is trying to blackmail Maxim. Julyan nods and asks Favell if he... (full context)
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While Frank, Favell, Julyan, Maxim, and the narrator wait for Robert to find Ben, Favell insults Frank.... (full context)
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Favell says that Frank should call all the phone numbers listed in the M-0488 format. Frank does so—the first... (full context)
Chapter 25
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The narrator stands in her home, looking at Colonel Julyan, Frank, Favell, Mrs. Danvers, and Maxim. She sees a look of utter despair on Maxim’s face—now... (full context)
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Frank reports to Colonel Julyan that Dr. Baker is a well known “woman’s specialist,” according to... (full context)
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Favell, Colonel Julyan, and Mrs. Danvers leave the room, leaving Maxim with Frank and the narrator. Frank goes to make sure that Favell and Julyan leave the house—when... (full context)
Chapter 27
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At the restaurant, Maxim places a call to Frank. Frank reports that Mrs. Danvers has disappeared from Manderley: no one can find her. The... (full context)