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Quotes

Quote #1

Angel cake, that melted in the mouth, and his rather stodgier companion, bursting with peel and raisins. There was enough food there to keep a starving family for a week. I never knew what happened to it all, and the waste used to worry me sometimes. (2.13)

The abundance of food at Manderley is mentioned frequently. The passage highlights the fact that there are multiple classes existing within Manderley. For example, the de Winter's have too much food, while some of the workers and servants might not have quite enough.

Quote #2

At any rate I have lost my diffidence, my timidity, my shyness with strangers. I am very different from that self who drove to Manderley for the first time, hopeful and eager, handicapped by a rather desperate gaucherie and filled with an intense desire to please. (2.16)

Mrs. de Winter sees her "diffidence" (lack of self-confidence), her "gaucherie" (social awkwardness), and the other qualities mentioned as symptoms of her inability to fit in with the peers she acquires when she marries Maxim.

Quote #3

I remember well that plate of ham and tongue. It was dry, unappetizing, cut in a wedge from the outside, but I had not the courage to refuse it. (2.19)

When the soon-to-be Mrs. de Winter is Mrs. Van Hopper's paid companion, she's looked down on by Mrs. Van Hopper and her wealthy peers. Unfortunately, she's also scorned by waiters and others in a servant class, as indicated by the supremely unappetizing meal she's served.

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