Mrs. de Winter: The novel's narrator and protagonist, whose first name is never revealed. While in Monte Carlo as a paid companion to Mrs. Van Hopper, she meets Maxim de Winter, an older, wealthy man, whom she falls in love with and marries quickly.
“Happiness is not a possession to be prized, it is a quality of thought, a state of mind.”
“If only there could be an invention...that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.”
“I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say.”
“Though two nights only have been spent beneath a roof, yet we leave something of ourselves behind. Nothing material, not a hairpin on a dressing table, not an empty bottle of aspirin tablets, not a handkerchief beneath a pillow, but something indefinable, a moment of our lives, a thought, a mood.”
“That's what I do to Jasper," I thought. "I'm being like Jasper now, leaning against him. He pats me now and again, when he remembers, and I'm pleased, I get closer to him for a moment. He likes me in the way I like Jasper.”
“The word lingered in the air once I had uttered it, Dancing before me, and because he received it silently, making no comment, the word magnified itself into something hideous and appalling, a forbidden word, unnatural to the tongue. And I could not call it back, it could never be unsaid.”
“We all of us have our particular devil who rides with us and torments us, and we must give battle in the end. We have conquered ours, or so we believe.”
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