Rebecca

Manderley Symbol Icon

The most obvious and evocative symbol in Rebecca is Manderley, the manor house in which Maxim, and later the narrator, live. Manderley is a centuries-old estate, ruled by the de Winter family for generations. At the most basic symbolic level, Manderley is an embodiment of the past: a huge, sprawling place where tradition and remembrance are all-important. We can see this very clearly through the character of Mrs. Danvers, who worships Manderley above everything else: not only does she follow the strict schedule of a large estate at all times, but she’s also committed to worshipfully preserving the memory of her previous mistress, the charismatic Rebecca de Winter. However, for most of the other characters in the novel, such as Maxim, Manderley and its memories aren’t so pleasurable. Maxim wants to forget about Rebecca, who was (supposedly) evil and manipulative, but because Rebecca is so intimately tied to Manderley—which is to say, to his past—he’s unable to do so. The symbolism comes to its logical (and inevitable) conclusion at the end of the novel, when Manderley is engulfed in flames—presumably set on fire by the heartbroken or vengeful Mrs. Danvers. At the precise time when Maxim and the narrator are finally ready to forget Maxim’s sordid past with Rebecca, they find that Manderley has been destroyed.

Manderley Quotes in Rebecca

The Rebecca quotes below all refer to the symbol of Manderley. 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 1 Quotes

On and on, now east now west, wound the poor thread that once had been our drive. Sometimes I thought it lost, but it appeared again, beneath a fallen tree perhaps, or struggling on the other side of a muddied ditch created by the winter rains. I had not thought the way so long.

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker)
Related Symbols: Manderley
Page Number: 2
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 8 Quotes

“Who is it?” I said, “who do you want?”
There was a strange buzzing at the end of the line, and then a voice came, low and rather harsh, whether that of a woman or a man I could not tell, and “Mrs. de Winter?” it said, “Mrs. de Winter?”
“I'm afraid you have made a mistake,” I said; “Mrs. de Winter has been dead for over a year.” I sat there, waiting, staring stupidly into the mouthpiece, and it was not until the name was repeated again, the voice incredulous, slightly raised, that I became aware, with a rush of color to my face, that I had blundered irretrievably, and could not take back my words.
“It's Mrs. Danvers, Madam,” said the voice. “I'm speaking to you on the house telephone.”

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), Mrs. Danvers (speaker), Rebecca de Winter
Related Symbols: Manderley
Page Number: 86
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 27 Quotes

There was no moon. The sky above our heads was inky black. But the sky on the horizon was not dark at all. It was shot with crimson, like a splash of blood. And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea.

Related Characters: The narrator (speaker), Maximilian de Winter
Related Symbols: Manderley
Page Number: 386
Explanation and Analysis:

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Manderley Symbol Timeline in Rebecca

The timeline below shows where the symbol Manderley appears in Rebecca. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Memory Theme Icon
Place, Imprisonment, and the Gothic Theme Icon
The novel begins, “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” The narrator remembers a dream about approaching a large metal gate that’s been locked.... (full context)
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Place, Imprisonment, and the Gothic Theme Icon
...As the narrator wakes up, she decides not to tell anyone about her dream, because “Manderley was ours no longer. Manderley was no more.” (full context)
Chapter 2
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Place, Imprisonment, and the Gothic Theme Icon
The narrator concludes that she can never return to Manderley, because the past is “too close.” She thinks about looking at her husband, with whom... (full context)
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Place, Imprisonment, and the Gothic Theme Icon
Despite her assuredness that she can’t return to Manderley, the narrator can’t help thinking of it at all times. The smallest details remind her... (full context)
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Place, Imprisonment, and the Gothic Theme Icon
The narrator remembers some of the people who lived at Manderley. There was the servant, Mrs. Danvers, who, if the narrator complained about anything, would say... (full context)
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Place, Imprisonment, and the Gothic Theme Icon
...handsome man, Maxim de Winter. Van Hopper explained to the narrator that de Winter owned Manderley, and that his wife had died recently. (full context)
Chapter 3
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...that Maxim looks somehow archaic, as if he’s from the 15th century. Van Hopper praises Manderley, Maxim’s home. The narrator notices that Maxim isn’t saying anything to Mrs. Van Hopper, yet... (full context)
Chapter 4
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...of rudeness that Mrs. Van Hopper would understand. As they eat, the narrator thinks about Manderley, the source of Maxim’s fame and prosperity. As a child, the narrator saw a picture... (full context)
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...the car ride back to the Hotel, Maxim tells the narrator about the flowers at Manderley: beautiful violets, tulips, and lilacs. As he speaks, dusk falls on Monte Carlo. They pull... (full context)
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...told her the previous day: Maxim’s wife died years ago, drowning in a bay near Manderley. Supposedly Maxim never utters her name. (full context)
Chapter 5
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...knows nothing about him. The narrator explains what she does know about Maxim: he’s from Manderley, and he’s lost his wife. Maxim falls silent, and the narrator is afraid she’s ruined... (full context)
Chapter 6
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The narrator remembers having to leave Manderley recently. She and her husband (unnamed for the moment) are staying in various hotels. Strangely,... (full context)
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...there. Maxim nods and asks the narrator a question: would she prefer New York or Manderley? Surprised, the narrator says she’d prefer Manderley, of course. Maxim tells the narrator that he’s... (full context)
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The narrator imagines being Maxim’s wife, and has an almost hallucinatory vision of walking around Manderley with Maxim. She realizes that she’ll become Lady de Winter—she imagines writing this name on... (full context)
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...and Van Hopper laughs cruelly. She tells the narrator that she’ll be hopelessly lost at Manderley—unable to survive at the balls and elaborate parties. In conclusion, Van Hopper says that the... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Place, Imprisonment, and the Gothic Theme Icon
Max—or Maxim, as the narrator still calls him—and the narrator arrive at Manderley in early May. Manderley, which is in England, is rainy and wet. The narrator realizes... (full context)
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Maxim and the narrator drive to Manderley. When they’re only a short distance from the house itself, the narrator notices that all... (full context)
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...Danvers says to her at the time—it was a cold, lifeless speech welcoming her to Manderley. (full context)
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Inside Manderley, Maxim and the narrator greet Maxim’s prized cocker spaniels, Jasper and his old, blind mother.... (full context)
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The narrator looks around Manderley, her new home. Surveying her library, she can’t believe that she’s standing inside the building... (full context)
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The narrator asks Mrs. Danvers if she’s been at Manderley for long. Danvers explains that she’s been at Manderley ever since the first Mrs. de... (full context)
Chapter 8
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The narrator notices right away that life at Manderley is carefully planned and scheduled. Maxim gets up from his bed (the couple sleeps in... (full context)
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...at Rebecca’s notebook. Rebecca kept herself busy for years by attending to the affairs of Manderley: the food, the scheduling, etc. Slowly, the narrator takes a pen and writes a letter... (full context)
Chapter 9
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At noon, the narrator hears the sound of a car pulling up to Manderley. She feels a sudden rush of nervousness—she’s not prepared to talk to guests today. The... (full context)
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...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 find Maxim waiting... (full context)
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Beatrice and the narrator take a walk around Manderley. Beatrice asks the narrator how she’s been getting along with Mrs. Danvers. The narrator admits... (full context)
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...east wing of the house. It occurs to the narrator that Beatrice has lived at Manderley for the majority of her life—she played here as a small child. Giles says that... (full context)
Chapter 10
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...and Jasper the dog go for a walk in the woods, to an area of Manderley called the Happy Valley. As they walk, the narrator can’t help but think about Beatrice.... (full context)
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...by the narrator’s sudden outburst. He says that they should never have come back to Manderley. Together, they walk back to the house. The narrator begins to weep. (full context)
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The next day, the narrator begins to fall into the rhythm of life at Manderley. She has tea with Maxim in the afternoon. The weather is cold and grey. The... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...Maxim, and to ask him to reorganize a ball that Rebecca used to host at Manderley. For the rest of the day, the narrator finds herself obligated to pay visits to... (full context)
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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... (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 mentions the cottage that she entered. She explains that inside, it’s dirty... (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, and he admits that she was extremely... (full context)
Chapter 12
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The narrator tells Maxim that her closest friend at Manderley is the servant girl, Clarice. Maxim, who’s known Clarice as his servant for years, remembers... (full context)
Chapter 13
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...Slowly, she realizes that she’s feeling excited for the first time since she arrived at Manderley: she has a childish desire to go exploring. With Jasper, she goes running through an... (full context)
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...should be going. He adds that he’s parked his car in a remote part of Manderley, so as not to “disturb” the narrator. The narrator sees through this lie immediately: Favell... (full context)
Chapter 14
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...has always blamed herself for the accident, she explains: because Danvers showed up late at Manderley that evening (she was coming from Kerrith), Rebecca went out to entertain herself. Had Danvers... (full context)
Chapter 15
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...grandmother that afternoon. When the narrator agrees, Beatrice says she’ll pick up the narrator from Manderley around 3:30 pm. (full context)
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At 3:30, Beatrice arrives at Manderley. She drives the narrator to see “Gran,” noting in the car that the narrator looks... (full context)
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...asks Beatrice if she’s ever heard of Jack Favell, and explains that he came to Manderley yesterday. Beatrice thinks she’s heard the name before, and guesses that Jack was Rebecca’s cousin.... (full context)
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...her that Maxim has gone to London. Gran asks the narrator if she lives at Manderley. Beatrice impatiently reminds Gran that the narrator is Maxim’s wife. Gran seems not to understand... (full context)
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As Beatrice and the narrator drive back to Manderley, the narrator imagines Gran as a younger woman, raising Maxim when he was a small... (full context)
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The narrator thanks Beatrice and says goodbye. As she walks into Manderley, she hears Maxim arguing with Mrs. Danvers, saying, “his car was seen here yesterday afternoon.”... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Word gets out that there’s to be a costume ball at Manderley. Clarice, the narrator’s favorite maid, tells the narrator that she’s excited for the big night.... (full context)
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...admits that she hasn’t. Mrs. Danvers suggests copying any one of the pictures hanging in Manderley, especially a picture of a young lady in white. She also gives the narrator the... (full context)
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...her costume. They embrace the narrator and tell her it’s “just like old times” at Manderley. Beatrice is carrying her costume—an “Eastern” lady, and Giles will dress as an Arabian sheik.... (full context)
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...in the mirror, the narrator recognizes that she’s dressing as Caroline de Winter—a Lady of Manderley from hundreds of years ago. (full context)
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...the narrator explains that she’s copied the portrait of Caroline de Winter from one of Manderley’s hallways. Without explaining himself, Maxim orders the narrator to change immediately. As the narrator walks... (full context)
Chapter 18
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...deeply loyal to Rebecca, despite her death. The narrator can feel Rebecca’s presence everywhere at Manderley. (full context)
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...she’ll never see Maxim again—that he’s left her forever. She walks across the grounds of Manderley, thinking angrily of Mrs. Danvers. It was Danvers who planned her humiliation, and it’s possible... (full context)
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...Mrs. Danvers’s old, wizened face. Danvers explains that ever since the narrator has come to Manderley, Maxim has been miserable—if the narrator had truly loved Maxim, Danvers insists, she’d never have... (full context)
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...her. She accuses the narrator of ratting her out to Maxim after Jack Favell visited Manderley—an accusation that the narrator denies. Mrs. Danvers tells the narrator, “you’re never going to get... (full context)
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...tells the narrator she should jump out. There’s no point in the narrator staying at Manderley, Danvers explains—no one loves her. As Danvers speaks, the narrator walks closer and closer to... (full context)
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...firing off a rocket. The narrator hears shouts and footsteps coming from the grounds of Manderley outside. (full context)
Chapter 19
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...a hot meal waiting for the men on the ship, if they should come to Manderley. The narrator nods and says she’ll pass along this message to her husband. (full context)
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...Frank assures the narrator, the sailors are fine—Maxim will probably invite them all back to Manderley later. A coastguard, who’s standing nearby, adds that Maxim is a wonderful leader, and extremely... (full context)
Chapter 20
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...Instead, he and Rebecca agreed to live in peace with one another, with Rebecca running Manderley and Maxim staying out of her way. Rebecca secretly despised the servants at Manderley, but... (full context)
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Over the years, Maxim explains, he was loyal to Rebecca because she helped reshape Manderley into a grand estate. But slowly, she began to grow idle. She would flirt with... (full context)
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...Favell, who lived in London. The narrator nods and explains that she’s met him at Manderley. This surprises Maxim, who had no idea that his wife knew Favell—the narrator explains that... (full context)
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...can live with Favell there, or with anyone you like. But not here. Not in Manderley.” Rebecca laughs and says that Maxim has no way of controlling her. He could never... (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... (full context)
Chapter 22
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...idea who could have made them. Horridge points out that the boat was kept on Manderley property, meaning that no outsider could have tampered with it. As Maxim listens, he becomes... (full context)
Chapter 23
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...finds Frank standing with her outside the station. Frank suggests that they go back to Manderley, but the narrator insists that she wants to stay and listen to Maxim talk to... (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 Maxim. The narrator walks to her... (full context)
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Maxim says he’s going to the crypt on Manderley property, where Rebecca will be buried that evening. The narrator waits in her bedroom, imagining... (full context)
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Maxim returns to Manderley and finds the narrator talking to Jack Favell. Jack greets Maxim cheerily and congratulates him... (full context)
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...Favell’s bluff: he calls Colonel Julyan on the spot and tells him to come to Manderley right away. (full context)
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It takes a long time for Colonel Julyan to come to Manderley. Favell sits in Manderley, reading the newspaper. The narrator fantasizes about shooting him and hiding... (full context)
Chapter 24
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Robert returns to Manderley with Ben. Inside, Favell greets Ben and asks Ben if he remembers who he is.... (full context)
Chapter 25
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...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... (full context)
Chapter 26
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...morning, the narrator wakes up early. She goes downstairs and walks around the grounds of Manderley. She notices birds flying through the trees, and sees the beautiful flowers that Rebecca planted... (full context)
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...silence. At nine, Maxim and the narrator get in their car and drive away from Manderley. They find Colonel Julyan waiting for them outside the estate, and they pick him up.... (full context)
Chapter 27
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The narrator and Maxim stop along the way back to Manderley to eat dinner at a London restaurant. Inside, Maxim wonders aloud if Julyan suspected the... (full context)
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...restaurant, Maxim places a call to Frank. Frank reports that Mrs. Danvers has disappeared from Manderley: no one can find her. The narrator shrugs and says, “So much the better.” She... (full context)
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On the long drive back to Manderley, the narrator dreams about returning to her home and seeing Mrs. Danvers there. She suggests... (full context)
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...dawn. And yet it’s much too early for dawn. As the car draws closer to Manderley, the light gets brighter. The narrator sees that Manderley is burning, throwing bright, blood-colored light... (full context)