Rebecca

Rebecca Chapter 25 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
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 he knows he’s going to be hanged for his crime.
Maxim can’t hide behind his façade of complacency any longer—he can sense that Baker has some kind of crucial information about Rebecca, information which could send him to die.
Themes
Power, Control, and Information Theme Icon
Frank reports to Colonel Julyan that Dr. Baker is a well known “woman’s specialist,” according to the man he spoke with on the phone. Colonel Julyan concludes that Rebecca must have gone to see Dr. Baker, gotten a medical diagnosis of some kind, and then sent the note to Favell to share the information with him. Julyan wonders what this “diagnosis” could possibly be.
Based on Rebecca’s conversation with Maxim immediately before he murdered her, we sense that Dr. Baker had determined that Rebecca was pregnant. Strangely, the fact that not one of the characters guesses this possibility (again, the censorship standards of the time avoiding any direct reference to sex or “women’s issues”) makes it seem more likely as a “twist.”
Themes
Power, Control, and Information Theme Icon
As Julyan, Maxim, and Favell argue, the narrator notices that Mrs. Danvers is looking at Maxim with utter hatred. The narrator realizes that Danvers didn’t realize until just now that Favell was accusing Maxim of murdering Rebecca.
The narrator isn’t actively involved in this scene, but she remains perceptive and sharp-witted throughout. Here, she correctly deduces that Mrs. Danvers realizes the truth about Maxim and Rebecca. This is dangerous, because Danvers has enormous power over Manderley, and therefore over Maxim, and she also loves Rebecca with a fanatical fervency.
Themes
Feminism and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Power, Control, and Information Theme Icon
Colonel Julyan says that he’ll need to speak to Dr. Baker as soon as possible—probably tomorrow evening at the earliest. Favell objects that Julyan will need to keep watch on Maxim in the meantime to make sure he doesn’t flee the country. Julyan hesitates, then tells Mrs. Danvers that she’s to lock all the doors in Manderley that night, after Maxim goes to sleep. Danvers says that she’ll do so. Julyan says he’ll come to Manderley tomorrow morning at nine to go to London with Favell and Maxim. Favell should wait for Julyan’s car at the border of Manderley. Favell, satisfied with this arrangement, jeers that Maxim is going to be executed—Baker will probably provide evidence that will be used to put him away.
This is one of the more unrealistic scenes in the book (what kind of detective would leave a likely suspect on his own?), but there are two interpretations that make the scene more plausible. First, it’s possible that Julyan doesn’t really believe Favell at all—he’s only humoring Favell with his investigation (or he’s too loyal to Maxim to send him in prison). Second, and more importantly, it’s likely that Maxim would never try to run off in the middle of the night. He’s so intimately tied to his life at Manderley that he has nowhere to run to.
Themes
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Place, Imprisonment, and the Gothic Theme Icon
Power, Control, and Information Theme Icon
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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 he’s made sure they’re gone, he comes back to the room and tells Maxim that he needs to get in touch with Baker immediately. Maxim replies that there’s nothing at all to be done: tonight, he just wants to be alone with his wife. Frank nods and leaves Maxim with the narrator.
Maxim’s calmness borders on despair in these scenes—he refuses to discuss Dr. Baker, or rehearse an alibi for himself. He’s resigned to his fate, certain that Dr. Baker will uncover damaging information and Rebecca will finally have “won.”
Themes
Place, Imprisonment, and the Gothic Theme Icon
Power, Control, and Information Theme Icon
It’s now almost 10 pm. The phone rings, and the narrator answers—it’s Beatrice. Beatrice asks about the suicide verdict, which has just been publicly announced. The narrator doesn’t mention Favell at all, but says that Maxim is in a state of shock after the verdict. Beatrice insists that Maxim must try to alter the official verdict—suicide will only arouse suspicion and outrage in the community. Furthermore, Beatrice says, Rebecca could never have killed herself.
Beatrice doesn’t have any idea that her brother is a murderer—as far as she’s concerned, the danger of Rebecca’s boat is that Maxim will be disgraced in his community, not that he’ll be sent to die. Nevertheless, Beatrice is right on the main point: it’s unlikely that the fierce, confident, and manipulative Rebecca would have suddenly killed herself (especially via such a carefully premeditated method).
Themes
Feminism and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Power, Control, and Information Theme Icon
The narrator abruptly hangs up the phone and turns to Maxim. Beatrice calls again, but neither she nor Maxim answer. The narrator and Maxim kiss, feverishly, as if they’ve never kissed before.
A few weeks ago, the narrator was consumed with the sense that Maxim was ignoring her or didn’t love her anymore. Now, it’s Beatrice whom Maxim ignores. Maxim and the narrator’s love scene is more feverish and disturbing than romantic—Maxim is kissing the narrator because it’s probably the last time he’ll be able to do so before he’s sent off to die. The narrator, for her part, still seems completely attracted to Maxim, and never stops to question her loyalty to this volatile man. Both of them are also in a feverish state with so much happening at once, and they cling to each other more tightly in the turmoil.
Themes
Feminism and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Power, Control, and Information Theme Icon