Rebecca by Donald Barthelme Story - Essay Prowess

Rebecca by Donald Barthelme Story


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Rebecca by Donald Barthelme

            The story of Rebecca reveals the theme of jealousy, appearance, insecurity and acceptance. In the story, Rebecca seems to fail to accept her surname, Lizard, and tries everything so that she can change her surname through legal channels but the judge seemingly does not acknowledge her request because he perceives Rebecca to be the problem rather than her surname. The author further explores this theme through the judge and this shows how sometimes some things can be overbearing to an individual in a way that they desire to change their lives even though the change is unnecessary. Rebecca had insecurities with her surname because of the fact that she had a slightly greenish complexion, this problem was only seen by her.

            The theme of love is also evident in the story in terms of how sometimes people fall in love and then ignore the perceived defects that are evident in the ones they love. For instance, in the story, Hilda loves Rebecca but still mentions to her that she does not like Rebecca’s slightly green complexion (Barthelme, 1975). At the same time, Rebecca cannot believe that she is loved by Hilda because she went out for a drink with Stephanie after work. This represents insecurity and jealousy themes in the story. People are often jealous or insecure when someone they care about or love spends time with any other person apart from them especially if it is an activity that they believe they should be doing with them instead.

            In conclusion, the solution to Rebecca’s insecurity is acceptance because she is still loved by Hilda despite her surname and her skin color. However, this story seems to show that the issue is not Rebecca’s surname or her skin color but rather how she will accept these insecurities and know that they do not define her. Just like in life, we have to focus more on ourselves and be positive about our shortcomings so that we can be at peace with those imperfections.  


Barthelme, D. (1975). Rebecca. Routledge.

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