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The narrator opens the novel with Manderley's description as a long neglected, shadow of an estate. It's a charred ruin, no longer suitable to live in. This is the Manderley the narrator sees from a place in the future.
In Chapter 4, it's revealed that our narrator (she's recently met Mr de Winter), had a postcard that depicted the beautiful estate of Manderley when she was a child. He responds that the home is beautiful and well cared for. This is a home that has life....... and he believes that by marrying our narrator and bringing her home it will be a HOME.