My Cousin Rachel


Daphne du Maurier

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My Cousin Rachel Symbols


In the novel, eyes symbolize the impulse to make clear-cut judgements about people, which fails to account for rich, nuanced personalities. Both Rachel and Philip have distinct eyes. Philip’s are remarkable because they are nearly…

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The characters of the novel are constantly receiving, finding, and destroying written letters, which symbolize the power and limitations of the written word. Letters are Philip’s primary mode of communication with Ambrose, and…

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Rachel’s Hands

While other character’s hands—including Philip’s and Rainaldi’s—are described in the novel, none are more painstakingly evoked than Rachel’s, which symbolize her extraordinary power. Rachel’s hands are incredibly small, and they remind Philip…

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Pearl Collar

The pearl collar, which is an Ashley family heirloom, symbolizes marriage. The collar is traditionally worn by Ashley women only on their wedding day and was last worn by Philip’s mother. Philip gifts it…

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