Economic Context of Rebecca (1940) Skyler Bell (In this…
Economic Context of
The Economic situation around 1940s in America was relatively well off post-world war. It was considered to be world's wealthiest country. At this time many workers began to produce fewer goods, and worked more in services. With many benefits and class distinctions were beginning to become uncommon. Since most of America was considered middle class.
Throughout these scenes, Mrs. Van Hopper finds out that Maxim will be marrying
Mrs. de Winter, and goes on to tell Mrs. de Winter that she couldn't possibly hold title of being the new house wife of Manderley simply because she doesn't "fit" in with such a class.
We see in this scene the very prominent differences in class between
Mrs. de Winter just based off costuming.
Also note that after Maxim tells Mrs. Van Hopper that he will be marrying
Mrs. de Winter there is a clear zoom in (dolly zoom) on Mrs. Van Hopper's face.
In this scene,
Mrs. de Winter is told by Maxim what really happened to Rebecca. Despite her knowing Maxim actually murdered Rebecca, and placed her body elsewhere. We see clear desperation in
Mrs. de Winters tone and body language.
Of course we know she loves him. But in this seen She tells Maxim that she believes every time they are together he is thinking of Rebecca.
Towards the end of the movie Manderley is burning down and within the last scene we see a close up (CU) of the embroidered "R" of Rebecca burning as if the idea of her is completely diminished
We know in the late 18th and early 19th century it was not common for certain classes to mix. However we come later into the 19th century America and much of the working class is beginning to grow throughout the population, and we see both rich and poor beginning to mix within society.
This is of course evident in Rebecca (1940). Rebecca a lower working class female working for Mrs. Van Hopper in a society which she does not particularly mix in.
Again in the scene where
Mrs. de Winter finds out the truth on what happened to Rebecca. Yet she still is desperate enough to stay with Maxim. Yes, it could definitely be because she loved him, but her coming from a lower middle class family and being depended upon money says a lot about this time period.
Which then could be reverted back to the representation of Manderley burning to the ground and Rebecca's embroidered "R" burning as well.
Which could definitely signify the collapsing of the economy and this new merging of completely different classes with one another, and the significant changes of working in hard labor.
Which in the film is extended when she meets Mr. de Winter who she falls for, and we begin to see this distinct mix.
Though at this time societies began to mix, it is possible that is was not common for either to marry or even mix as much. Which can be thought about if Rebecca was completely removed from the film as a whole.
We again see clear evidence of this when Mrs. Van Hopper finds out that Maxim will be marrying
Mrs de Winter.
Carter, Jennifer, Class Discussion, 15 January 2019.