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by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca Theme of Lies and Deceit

If you've reached the end of Rebecca and you still don't feel like you know the truth, then things are exactly as they should be. Part of the fun of this book is trying to sort the truth from the lies, knowing full well that none of our witnesses are very reliable. There are layers and layers of lies, most of them centering on Rebecca. There are so many secrets between Maxim and Mrs. de Winter that when Maxim reveals the big one – you know, that he killed his ex-wife – we want to shout out a big "FINALLY!" Sometimes this novel reads like a battle of the manipulators: whoever can put on the right act wins. At other times, the characters seem incredibly lost and bewildered, searching desperately for some sort of truth to emerge.

Questions About Lies and Deceit

  1. Who is the most deceitful character in Rebecca?
  2. We hear very different things about Rebecca from each of the characters? How do we know who to trust?
  3. Is Maxim lying when he says he never loved Rebecca? Is he lying when he says he loves Mrs. de Winter? Explain your answers.               
  4. Does Frank know the truth about Rebecca's murder? If so, what are his motives for covering it up?
  5. Does Maxim manipulate Mrs. de Winter through lies? If so, how?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Maxim's wealth, power, and status allow him to lie all he wants and still get away with it.

Mrs. Danvers is the most deceitful character in Rebecca.

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