Stylistic analysis of the part of the novel "Rebecca" by Daphne Du Maurier
Stylistic analysis of the part of the novel "Rebecca" by Daphne Du Maurier
Daphne Du Maurier (13 May 1907–19 April 1989) was born in London. She came from an artistic family. Her father was the actor-manager Sir Gerald Du Maurier and she was the granddaughter of caricaturist George Du Maurier. One of her ancestors was Mary Anne Clarke, the mistress of the duke of York, second son of King George III. She later became the heroine of Du Maurier's novel MARY ANNE (1954). In 1831 Mary Anne Clarke's daughter married Louis-Mathurin Busson Du Maurier. THE GLASS-BLOWERS (1963) was a novel about the Busson family. Her own father she portrayed in GERALD (1934).
Du Maurier grew up in a lively London household where friends like J.M. Barrie and Edgar Wallace visited frequently. Her uncle, a magazine editor, published one of her stories when she was a teenager and got her a literary agent. Du Maurier attended schools in London, Meudon, France, and Paris. In her childhood she was a voracious reader, she was fascinated by imaginary worlds and developed a male alter ego for herself. Du Maurier also had a male narrator in several novels. She wrote the first story ‘The thirstys’ when she was just 13 years old. Her first book, THE LOVING SPIRIT, appeared in 1931. This novel played a main role in her life. One man was so impressed with this novel that he decided to go to Cornwall in order to meet an author personally – that man was Daphne’s future husband.
It was followed by JAMAICA INN (1936), a historical tale of smugglers, which was bought for the movies, and directed by Alfred Hitchcock - later Hitchcock also used her short story 'The Birds', a tense tale of nature turning on humanity. FRENCHMAN'S CREEK, a pirate romance, was filmed in 1944. MY COUSIN RACHEL (1951) was made into film in 1952. The story examined how a man may be manipulated by a woman, who perhaps has murdered her husband.
Besides popular novels Du Maurier published short stories, plays and biographies, among others Branwell Brontë's, the brother of sisters Anne, Charlotte, and Emily. Her biography of Francis Bacon, an English statesman in the 1500s and 1600s, appeared in 1976. Du Maurier's autobiography, GROWING PAINS, was published when she was 70. In the late 1950s, Du Maurier began to take interest in the supernatural. During this period she wrote several stories, which explored fears and paranoid fantasies, among them 'The Pool', in which a young girl glimpses a magical world in the woods, but is later barred from it, and 'The Blue Lenses', in which a woman sees everyone around her having the head of an animal. In 1970 appeared her second collection of short stories, NOT AFTER MIDNIGHT, which included 'Don't Look Now', a tale set in Venice, involving a psychic old lady, a man with the sixth sense, and a murderous dwarf.
It is difficult to define to which literary current the creativity of Du Maurier can be concerned. Despite - or perhaps due to - her immense popularity, Du Maurier was long regarded as a resolutely middlebrow author. However, recent criticism focusing on the Freudian and Jungian subtexts of her books has forced a reappraisal of her canon. Although many of her novels rely on the trappings of the romance, a lot of her best works transcend the genre to achieve a powerful psychological realism, the others can have the features of fantasy, thriller, history novel and the novel of suspense, mysticism, psychological or social drama. So her works consist of the synthesis of different genres and the element almost of every literary current. In my personal opinion the Daphne’s creativity can be related to new-romanticism.
In 1932 Du Maurier married to Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Arthur Montague Browning II, who was knighted for his distinguished service during World War II. They were happily married for thirty-three years and had three children; Browning died in 1965. Du Maurier was made dame in 1969 for her literary distinction. She died on April 19, 1989.
The novel REBECCA is among the most memorable in twentieth-century literature. The story centers on a young and timid heroine. Her life is made unstable by her strangely behaving husband, Maxim de Winter, whom she just have married. Maxim is a wealthy widower. His wife Rebecca has died in mysterious circumstances. His house is ruled by Mrs. Danvers, the housekeeper. She has made Rebecca's room a shrine. Du Maurier focuses on the fears and fantasies of the new wife, who eventually learns, that her husband did not love his former wife, a cruel, egoistical woman.
One of the main images of the novel a manor Manderley.
When Daphne Du Maurier was a child she went to stay at a house called Milton. It was a huge house and very grand with a vast entrance hall, many rooms and a commanding housekeeper. Daphne liked the house, feeling at home there and held it in her memory.
As a young adult Daphne discovered Menabilly, the home of the Rashleigh family, situated just outside Fowey in Cornwall. It was a large house hidden away down a long driveway with vast grounds surrounded by woodland and a pathway leading down to a cottage nestled beside the sea. Daphne would visit the house often, trespassing in the grounds. The house was empty and neglected but she loved it. Much later Daphne was to live at Menabilly and do much of her writing there and her love for Menabilly was to last her a lifetime.
It was a combination of these two houses that became Manderley, the house at the centre of Daphne Du Mauriers novel Rebecca, which opens with the famous lines: “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…”
Daphne started to write REBECCA in the late summer of 1937. Her husband had been posted to Egypt as commanding officer of the 2nd battalion of the Grenadier Guards and she had left her two little girls Tessa and Flavia in England with their nanny while she accompanied him. This enforced separation from her beloved Cornwall must have caused Daphne to turn her thoughts to writing a novel set in that area and although she could not know it at the time, she was writing the book that was to become her most famous work. The book was completed when her husband was posted back to Aldershot and the family were reunited in a house called Greyfriars near Fleet in Hampshire. REBECCA was published in April 1938.
The central character is the second wife of Maxim de Winter. The novel begins with her reflecting on a dream she has had about Manderley and as she remembers her dream the story unfolds. The character is never named but she tells the story in the first person and is traditionally referred to as the narrator.
The story begins in Monte Carlo where a rich American woman called Mrs Van Hopper is staying with her paid companion, the young and inexperienced narrator. Mrs Van Hopper discovers that Maxim de Winter is staying at the same hotel and is eager to meet him, as an air of mystery and sadness is said to surround him since the recent death of his wife Rebecca.
Maxim and the narrator get to know one another. The narrator thinks Maxim is wonderful but his is twice her age and much more experienced in life than her and despite the fact that they go out together every day and spend a lot of time together she thinks Maxim is just being kind to her. When Mrs Van Hopper suddenly decides to leave Monte Carlo, Maxim asks the narrator to marry him and she accepts. Then Maxim takes the narrator home to Manderley his country estate in Cornwall…
So this mysterious life story of new Mrs de Winter began.
In the Christian Science Monitor, September 14th 1938 page 12, V S Pritchett reviewed REBECCA for the American public. He said that it had received fabulous reviews in England, reading almost like advertising copy. He then went on to say that it would be absurd to make a fuss about REBECCA, which would be here today and gone tomorrow like the rest of publicity’s masterpieces. How wrong he was, REBECCA became the most famous of all Daphne Du Maurier’s novels and is still the one that she is best remembered for. Daphne could never understand its popularity saying that it was simply a study in jealousy.
Two years later, it was made into a fabulous four-star movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock (his first American film) staring Joan Fontaine, Laurence Olivier, George Sanders and Judith Anderson. It won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Cinematography.
REBECCA has been variously described, firstly as an example of the Cinderella story but with the central character being helped from rags to riches by the older man who marries her rather than the more traditional help of a fairy godmother. REBECCA has also been described as the first major gothic romance in the 20th century. It certainly contains all the elements of the great gothic novel and had often been compared to ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte, with the house so strongly influenced by the previous occupant, the brooding hero in the shape of Maxim, the mad woman in the shape of Mrs Danvers, the growing tension, and finally the house destroyed by fire.
There is another school of thought that believes the Rebecca, Maxim, narrator triangle is a reproduction of the relationship between Daphne Du Maurier and her father and mother or perhaps Daphne, her husband and his previous fiancée. The love that Daphne and her father Gerald had for one another is well documented, as is the less comfortable relationship that Daphne had with her mother. It has been suggested that the younger woman’s struggle to feel secure in the older mans love because of the influence of the more sophisticated and successful REBECCA comes from the relationship Daphne had with her parents. Another similar suggestion comes from the fact that her husband had been engaged to a very beautiful and self-assured woman before he knew Daphne and although this relationship was called off, Daphne was consumed with jealousy and doubted that he could love her as much as he had loved the other woman. It seems likely that this woman may well have been developed to create the character of Rebecca. Either way there can be little doubt that the nameless second Mrs de Winter is none other than Daphne Du Maurier herself.
Over the years many people have asked why the second Mrs de Winter does not have a name. Daphne Du Maurier’s reply to this was that she could not think of one and it became a challenge in technique to write the whole story without naming her. It proved to be a very effective way of making the character appear to be a lesser person than Rebecca.
In 1939 Daphne Du Maurier adapted REBECCA for the stage and the play, like the novel, has retained its popularity ever since. The story does leave one with lots of unanswered questions and there have been a number of attempts to write sequels to REBECCA. In 1993 Susan Hill wrote ‘Mrs de Winter’, which continues the story, and in 2001 Sally Beauman wrote ‘Rebeccca’s Tale’, which moves the story on twenty years and then looks back at what happened with interesting results and without spoiling any of the tension of the original novel. Undoubtedly the interest in REBECCA will continue for a long time to come.
I also interested in REBECCA that’s why I have chosen the following part of the novel to the stylistic analysis:
I drummed with my fingers on the table, uncertain of myself and of him. Was he still laughing at me, was it all a joke? He looked up, and saw the anxiety on my face. 'I'm being rather a brute to you, aren't I?' he said; 'this isn't your idea of a proposal. We ought to be in a conservatory, you in a white frock with a rose in your hand, and a violin playing a waltz in the distance. And I should make violent love to you behind a palm tree. You would feel then you were getting your money's worth. Poor darling, what a shame. Never mind, I'll take you to Venice for our honeymoon and we'll hold hands in the gondola. But we won't stay too long, because I want to show you Manderley.'
He wanted to show me Manderley.... And suddenly I realized that it would all happen; I would be his wife, we would walk in the garden together, we would stroll down that path in the valley to the shingle beach. I knew how I would stand on the steps after breakfast, looking at the day, throwing crumbs to the birds, and later wander out in a shady hat with long scissors in my hand, and cut flowers for the house. I knew now why I had bought that picture post-card as a child; it was a premonition, a blank step into the future.
He wanted to show me Manderley.... My mind ran riot then, figures came before me and picture after picture – and all the while he ate his tangerine, giving me a piece now and then, and watching me. We would be in a crowd of people, and he would say, 'I don't think you have met my wife.' Mrs de Winter. I would be Mrs de Winter. I considered my name, and the signature on cheques, to tradesmen, and in letters asking people to dinner. I heard myself talking on the telephone 'Why not come down to Manderley next week-end?' People, always a throng of people. 'Oh, but she's simply charming, you must meet her – This about me, a whisper on the fringe of a crowd, and I would turn away, pretending I had not heard.
Going down to the lodge with a basket on my arm, grapes and peaches for the old lady who was sick. Her hands stretched out to me, 'The Lord bless you, Madam, for being so good,' and my saying 'Just send up to the house for anything you want.' Mrs de Winter. I would be Mrs de Winter. I saw the polished table in the dining-room, and the long candles. Maxim sitting at the end. A party of twenty-four. I had a flower in my hair. Everyone looked towards me, holding up his glass. 'We must drink the health of the bride,' and Maxim saying afterwards, 'I have never seen you look so lovely.' Great cool rooms, filled with flowers. My bedroom, with a fire in the winter, someone knocking at the door. And a woman comes in, smiling; she is Maxim's sister, and she is saying, 'It's really wonderful how happy you have made him; everyone is so pleased, you are such a success.' Mrs de Winter. I would be Mrs de Winter.
'The rest of the tangerine is sour, I shouldn't eat it,' he said, and I stared at him, the words going slowly to my head, then looked down at the fruit on my plate. The quarter was hard and pale. He was right. The tangerine was very sour. I had a sharp, bitter taste in my mouth, and I had only just noticed it.
REBECCA was translated into Russian by the talented interpreter Halina Ostrovskaya. The offered part of text was translated in such way:
Я барабанила пальцами по столу, я ничего не понимала, ни его, ни себя. Он все еще смеется надо мной? Это шутка? Он поднял глаза и увидел тревогу у меня на лице.
— Я безобразно себя веду, да? — сказал он. — Разве так делают предложения?! Мы должны были бы сидеть в оранжерее, ты — в белом платье и с розой в руке, а издалека доносились бы звуки вальса. На скрипке. И я должен был бы страстно объясняться тебе в любви позади пальмы. Ты так все это себе представляешь? Тогда бы ты чувствовала, что получила все сполна. Бедная девочка. Просто стыд и срам. Ну, не важно, я увезу тебя на медовый месяц в Венецию, и мы будем держаться за руки в гондоле. Но мы не останемся там надолго, потому что я хочу показать тебе Мэндерли.
Он хочет показать мне Мэндерли... И внезапно я осознала, что это действительно произойдет, я стану его женой, мы будем гулять вместе в саду, пройдем по тропинке к морю, к усеянному галькой берегу. Я уже видела, как стою после завтрака на ступенях, глядя, какая погода, кидая крошки птицам, а позднее, в шляпе с большими полями, с длинными ножницами в руках выхожу в сад и срезаю цветы для дома. Теперь я знала, почему купила в детстве ту открытку. Это было предчувствие, неведомый мне самой шаг в будущее.
Он хочет показать мне Мэндерли... Воображение мое разыгралось, передо мной одна за другой замелькали картины, возникли какие-то фигуры... и все это время он ел мандарин, не спуская с меня глаз и подкладывая мне время от времени дольку. Вот мы в толпе людей, и он произносит: «Вы, кажется, еще не знакомы с моей женой». Миссис де Уинтер. Я буду миссис де Уинтер. Я подумала, как это будет звучать, как будет выглядеть подпись на чеках торговцам и на письмах с приглашением к обеду. Я слышала, как говорю по телефону: «Почему бы вам нее приехать в Мэндерли в конце следующей недели?» Люди, всегда масса людей. «О, она просто обворожительна. Вы должны с ней познакомиться...» Это обо мне — шепоток, пробегающий в толпе, и я отворачиваюсь, дела вид, что ничего не слышала.
Прогулка в домик привратника, в руке корзинка с виноградом и персиками для его прихворнувшей престарелой матушки. Ее руки, протянутые ко мне: «Благослови вас Господь, мадам, вы так добры», — и я в ответ: «Присылайте к нам за всем, что вам может понадобиться». Миссис де Уинтер. Я видела полированный стол в столовой и высокие свечи. Максим во главе стола. Прием на двадцать четыре персоны. У меня в волосах роза. Все глядят на меня, подняв бокалы. «За здоровье новобрачной». А потом, после их отъезда, Максим: «Я еще никогда не видел тебя такой прелестной». Большие прохладные комнаты полны цветов. Моя спальня зимой, с горящим камином. Стук в дверь. Входит незнакомая женщина, она улыбается, это сестра Максима. «Просто удивительно, каким вы его сделали счастливым, все в таком восторге, вы имеете огромный успех!» — говорит она. Миссис де Уинтер. Я буду миссис де Уинтер...
— Эти дольки кислые, я бы не стал их есть, — сказал он, я уставилась на него — до меня с трудом дошел смысл его слов, — затем посмотрела на четвертушку мандарина, лежащую передо мной на тарелке. Она была жесткой и светлой. Он прав. Мандарин был очень кислый. Во рту у меня щипало и горчило, а я только сейчас это заметила.
It is meaningful to explain a situation, which had taken place up to this fragment. The main heroes, Maxim and the narrator, were having a breakfast. Maxim asked the narrator to marry him. By the way before that scene Maxim frequently told the narrator about his famous manor Manderley. And she recollected a long time ago, when she was just a child, she had bought a card with a photo of a manor and had fallen in love with this majestic house. It’s interesting that the novel opens not with the exposition. In the beginning of REBECCA we learn about the outcome, which will be described after in the form of the main heroine’s memoirs. So we have the composite device of ‘the story in the story’.
To begin the stylistic analysis we ought to mention that the narration is conducted from the first person that’s why the described events had subjective character. The author has a possibility not just to show some events, but also to open the internal world of the storyteller. It defines the specificity of the further reader's recognition.
Stylistic morphology. In the given part of the text we can find a few usages devices of the stylistic morphology. It is necessary to emphasize a transposition. It is the usage of a word-form in unusual context where it gets unusual meaning. Framed in transposition some abstract nouns can get meaning of an object: 'It's really wonderful how happy you have made him; everyone is so pleased, you are such a success'. In this example the abstract noun success is combined with a pronoun and so gets a tinge of an object.
Also there is a stylistic device of categories of time usage. In the given text fragment we have the narrator’s dreams about her future marriage. In the beginning her thoughts have grammatically correct construction, according to the sequence of tenses and the conditional modality: ‘I would be his wife, we would walk in the garden together, we would stroll down that path in the valley to the shingle beach’; ‘We would be in a crowd of people, and he would say…’ But the heroine is so fascinated in a considering of the future, that her thoughts are becoming chaotic, incorrect from the angle of the grammar. In order to create an effect of a flow of consciousness the author uses participles (it will be described in my work later), and the forms of the present tense instead of the past tense: ‘And a woman comes in, smiling; she is Maxim's sister, and she is saying…’ Du Maurier used this device for showing the described events more vividly, for providing the visual demonstration.
We can see there a lot of participles: ‘Going down to the lodge with a basket on my arm’; ‘Maxim sitting at the end’; ‘Someone knocking at the door’. Mainly such constructions are used not as a part of the sentence. They are used separately, turning into the incomplete sentences. The usage of participles is a stylistic device which helps to show a flow of consciousness. The functions of the usage of categories of tense and the usage of participles are similar. The usage of the participle forms as the basic element of the incomplete sentence helps to achieve the effect of the free ragged idea which has been not subordinated to rules of grammar, therefore so real and alive.
The other form of the stylistic morphology is the usage of the pronouns. During the novel we have not found out a name of the main heroine. The author almost all the time used for her description the various forms of pronouns: ‘I drummed with my fingers on the table’; ‘I'm being rather a brute to you’; ‘Oh, but she's simply charming, you must meet her’. More often Daphne used different variants of I, because the story goes from first person. Such stylistic device pursues simultaneously some purposes. With its help the author enters the reader in the thick of things, representing the unknown as already known. The usage of pronouns in such cases specifies intimacy, trusting intonation between the author and the reader, as though the reader is included in conversation and becomes listener and its direct participant. Also the given device can be used in order to create an internal monologue or flow of consciousness and it finds an expression in the analyzable fragment.
So in the given part of the text we have 4 examples of using the devices of the stylistic morphology.
Stylistic syntax. The style of any work as well as the style of the any author is substantially defined by the syntax. The syntactic organization of speech is one of the basic means of the literary art. There are a lot of devices of the stylistic syntax in the analyzable text fragment. Repetition – the stylistic device which serves to emphasize the state of the personage or character overcome by strong emotions. The author draws our attention to something. The repetitions are quite often met in REBECCA. In the given part of the text we meet the line ‘He wanted to show me Manderley...’ two times. Du Maurier accented the reader’s attention on that because the fact, that Maxim wanted to show the narrator his manor, is very important for the main heroine. From the childhood she was dreaming to see that wonderful house and now she could be an owner of it. And it is important that Maxim wanted to it her. His patrimonial manor is extremely significant for him. And the fact that he wanted to show Manderley her meant for the narrator that she is important for him. The line ‘Mrs de Winter. I would be Mrs de Winter’ is met three times. The narrator repeated that phrase for two reasons. On the one hand, the heroine could not believe that she would be Maxim’s wife and so she repeated it to herself. On the other hand, with every repetition she enjoyed the understanding that it all would happen with her. And thus she tried to get used that soon she would began to play a new role – she would a wife of the rich person of consequence instead of being the underpaid companion for the old lady. And besides the line ‘Mrs de Winter. I would be Mrs de Winter’ is so-called repetition in the repetition because this line illustrates the repetition itself but it also contains a repeated element Mrs de Winter: ‘Mrs de Winter. I would be Mrs de Winter’. This element has the same function as well as all line, but owing to its double repetition we meet it in the text six times so the author six times accented reader’s attention on the dreams of the narrator about her future married life. The similar repeated element can be mentioned in the line: ‘People, always a throng of people’. But in the first example this element stronger, because it represents the nominative sentence by itself, it breaks one semantically homogeneous phrase on two parts.
Parenthetic sentences / parenthesis – is an explanatory or qualifying word, clause, or sentence inserted into a passage with which it has not necessarily any grammatical connection, and from which it is usually marked off by round or square brackets, dashes, or commas. In the given part of the text we have just one example of such construction: ‘My mind ran riot then, figures came before me and picture after picture – and all the while he ate his tangerine, giving me a piece now and then, and watching me’. In this example the author wanted to show the difference between the imagined and the real events with a help of the given stylistic device. Also parenthesis creates effect of a mockery. The parenthetic sentence emphasizes, that the heroine’s imagination withdraw her far from the reality, because she is a dreamer, filled with the youthful maximalism and superfluous haste. Also this way shows a difference between the naive dreamy young story-teller and experienced cynical Maxim de Winter. But even experienced Maxim was delighted with a lovely children's spontaneity of the narrator.
Parallelism is a balance of two or more similar words, phrases, or clauses. The application of parallelism in sentence construction improves writing style and readability. In fiction the basic function of parallelism is the amplification of the communicative and expressive importance of the statement There are a few examples of the parallel constructions: ‘…we would walk in the garden together, we would stroll down that path in the valley to the shingle beach’ (parallel grammatical bases of the sentence); ‘I knew how I would stand on the steps after breakfast, looking at the day, throwing crumbs to the birds’(parallel participles); ‘I considered my name, and the signature on cheques, to tradesmen, and in letters asking people to dinner’ (parallel objects); ‘I saw the polished table in the dining-room, and the long candles’ (parallel objects); ‘Great cool rooms, filled with flowers. My bedroom, with a fire in the winter…’ (parallel subjects in the nominative sentences).
Nominative sentences – are the sentences with an incomplete syntactic basis. In these sentences the main component expressed by a noun. Such sentences are distributed by the words with emotional connotation, they have laconic brevity and certain expressiveness: ‘Mrs de Winter’; ‘People, always a throng of people’; ‘My bedroom, with a fire in the winter’; ‘A party of twenty-four’. It is also often used in spoken language, so the author needs this device in describing an internal monologue or flow of consciousness.
Aposiopesis is a stylistic device by which the writer deliberately stops short and leaves something unexpressed, but yet obvious, to be supplied by the imagination, giving the impression that she is unwilling or unable to continue. It often portrays being overcome with passion (fear, anger, excitement) or modesty. The ellipsis is also used in the constructions with aposiopesis. There is an example in the offered fragment: ‘He wanted to show me Manderley...’ Daphne Du Maurier made break in the text because the story-teller of the novel was too exited to continue the narration therefore the pause was necessary for her to realize idea of the statement.
Ellipsis – is a figure of speech, the omission of a word or words required by strict grammatical rules but not by sense. The missing words are implied by the context. In the novel this reception is used rather frequently, because the story goes from the first person. This device is used to create an effect of the colloquial language, to represent an internal monologue or flow of consciousness, so to show such speech sphere, where the man does not need to be guided by rules of grammar in order to create the statement. Ellipsis may convey the emotional state of the narrator. ‘Why not come down to Manderley next week-end?’ – in this sentence a subject and an auxiliary verb are omitted.
Rhetorical question is a figure of speech in the form of a question posed for special effect rather than for the purpose of getting an answer. Such constructions we can find in the analyzable part of the text in the thoughts of the narrator ‘Was he still laughing at me, was it all a joke?’, and in the direct speech of Maxim ‘I'm being rather a brute to you, aren't I?’. These questions require no answer. The heroes set such question to themselves or assert obvious in the form of a question.
Stylistic semasiology. Metonymy refers to the use of a single characteristic to identify a more complex entity and is one of the basic characteristics of cognition. It is extremely common for people to take one well-understood or easy-to-perceive aspect of something and use that aspect to stand either for the thing as a whole or for some other aspect or part of it. It is based on the associations between two concepts: the object implied and object named. In the given fragment of REBECCA there is just one example of metonymy: ‘…and a violin playing a waltz in the distance’. Course, we understand that the violin can not play by itself that the musician plays on it. But Du Maurier transfer attributes of the man on the musical instrument, omitted man’s necessity, invested it with the ability to play independently.
Metaphor – is defined as a direct comparison between two or more seemingly unrelated subjects. More generally, a metaphor casts a first subject as being or equal to a second subject in some way. Thus, the first subject can be economically described because implicit and explicit attributes from the second subject are used to enhance the description of the first. With a help of such device few words, emotions and associations from one context are associated with objects and entities in a different context. In the analyzable part of the text we can see the metaphor: ‘This about me, a whisper on the fringe of a crowd…’ It is known, that there is no fringe at a crowd. Nevertheless we always can use phrases such as at the centre of a crowd. On logic if there is a centre so there is a fringe. Thus the author allocate concept crowd with characteristics of the concept city. And the author attribute to crowd an opportunity to have characteristic feature of city. The given metaphor makes the language of a narration more figurative and associative, so it becomes more stylistically decorated. The next metaphor is ‘It was a premonition, a blank step into the future’. The metaphor a step into the future is settled that’s why some stylists do not allocate given expression as a metaphor at all. But there we also have an attribute blank, which makes this metaphor unique. It means the subconscious, unknown step into the future. This metaphor describes something indissolubly and imperceptibly which had connected the main heroine with her future, had given the prompting about what this future will be.
Oxymorons are a proper subset of the expressions called contradictions in terms. What distinguishes oxymorons from other paradoxes and contradictions is that they are used intentionally, for rhetorical effect, and the contradiction is only apparent, as the combination of terms provides a novel expression of some concept. In REBECCA’s fragment we have ‘violent love’. To describe such feeling as love the positive adjectives are used more often. In the given example the adjective with negative colouring is used thus it receives the meaning strong.
Personification – is the presentation of unanimated objects, phenomena or ideas as if they were human beings. It makes the narration more emphatic: ‘…the words going slowly to my head’.
Epithet is a descriptive word or phrase that has become a fixed formula. It has various shades of meaning when applied to real or fictitious people, divinities, objects and biological nomenclature. It also means a derogatory word or phrase used to insult someone. In the given fragment of the text we can find three groups of epithets. There are simple epithets which just characterize the objects and subjects: ‘white frock’; ‘shady hat’; ‘long scissors’; ‘old lady’; ‘long candles’; ‘great cool rooms’; ‘the tangerine was very sour’; ‘I had a sharp, bitter taste’. We can see a number of estimated epithets which give an evaluation of the subjects and objects: ‘she’s simply charming’; ‘for being so good’; ‘you look so lovely’; ‘how happy you have made him’. And there are only two examples of the expressive and figurative epithet: ‘poor darling’; ‘violent love’.
Antonomasia is a stylistic device: the substitution of any epithet or phrase for a proper name; the opposite substitution of a proper name for some generic term is also sometimes called antonomasia. The surname of the main hero of the novel is de Winter. Probably, Du Maurier wanted that such surname represented Maxim as cold, secluded, prickly person. But even heart of Mr de Winter can melt, warming with love. By the way, this surname suits his ex-wife Rebecca (somewhere in the text of the novel is told, that she was perfect by her ice beauty), and it contradicts with the essence of his unnamed new wife.
Synonymia is the use of several synonyms together to amplify or explain a given subject or term. It is a kind of repetition that adds emotional force or intellectual clarity. Synonymia often occurs in parallel fashion. The novel REBECCA contains interesting cases of synonymia using. As it’s already mentioned the main heroine is not named and she is often described by pronouns. So pronouns can be enlisted in a synonymic line of the words, which are described the narrator. From the lexis of the given fragment we can separate such synonyms: I, you, wife, Mrs, she, madam, bride. All offered synonyms are used by the author to replace a name of the narrator, to keep an intrigue, and at the same time to show, that the main heroine of the novel can remain unnamed all the time. Sometimes Daphne names the heroine on a surname de Winter, but it is not enlisted in a synonymic line, because the author makes it to show, that the girl is married now and in many ways she depends on her husband, and on the other hand - to show that from now on she will be compared with Maxim’s ex-wife.
Some stylistic devices of semasiology are used to create interesting turns of a plot. For example, during all the fragment Du Maurier forces a situation, creates an atmosphere of suspense – is a deliberate postponing of the completion of the main sort until the end of the utterance. It produces psychological effect, conveys the stays of expectation, uncertainty. The author interrupts the narration to describe naive dreams of the heroine. Such lyrical deviation forces the reader to expect impatiently, how the main turn of a plot will be finished.
Also the given part of the text demonstrate the element of irony, mockery. For example, when the romantic ideas of the heroine were rudely interrupted by the Maxim’s statement about the tangerine. This the moment is very symbolical. It is possible to say, that the life of the narrator will be not as sweet as she dreamt, but as bitter, as that tangerine.
In the analyzable part of the novel the atmosphere of suspense and some irony elements were described with a help of anticlimax – is an abrupt declension (either deliberate or unintended) on the part of a writer from the dignity of idea which he appeared to be aiming at. Anticlimax deforms the narration in the highest point by the final notion as something opposite to what was expected. In REBECCA at that moment, when the dreams absorbed the narrator, with the help of this device the idyll of romanticism was destroyed by absolutely not romantic utterance about sour fruit.
Stylistic lexicology. In the given fragment of REBECCA we can find two examples of using phraseological units: ‘You would feel then you were getting your money's worth’ (it means to get something worth the price that you paid); ‘My mind ran riot then…’ (if your imagination, emotions, thoughts etc run riot, you cannot or do not control them). The stylistic function of phraseological units is not nominating of any new phenomena, they give a concrete definition and figuratively emotional evaluation of the subjects, phenomena, actions.
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