Where's the love? You might find yourself asking just this question as you read Rebecca. In spite of its highly romantic nature, this novel is full of spiteful, selfish characters wrapped up in dark dramas. We do see glimmers of what looks like real love, but there's always a dark twist. For example, the frightful Mrs. Danvers seems to be the only person who really loved Rebecca and didn't view her as disposable. Similarly, Mrs. de Winter really, really does seem to love Maxim in a way that defines the phrase "unconditional love." Knowing he could snap and kill her easily if she betrays him, we fear that her love could cause her harm. Still, there's evidence that Maxim really does love her, too. Perhaps she's everything he really wants in a woman. What do you think? Is their love real or just imagined because of all the other intense emotions floating around?
Mrs. de Winter truly loves Maxim; she demonstrates this by standing by him even after she learns he's a murderer.
Mrs. de Winter's relationship with Maxim is complicated; it's difficult to separate her love for Maxim as a person, from her need to maintain her identity as Mrs. de Winter, without which she would be poor, homeless, and alone.