The house of seven gables essays

The House of Seven Gables

Though the books are quite seemingly different, the central themes and Hawthorne's style are closely related Carey, p. American novelist Nathaniel. Nathaniel Hathorne Sr. Through the influence of his past ancestors, his dark childhood, his college experience, and his fellow author friends, Nathaniel Hathorne Hawthorne is one of the most renowned authors of the Romanticism period which took place during the.

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Born July 4, , in Salem, Mass. Reclusive at times, wrote twice-told tales, the house of seven gables, the scarlet letter and more. Married Sophia Peabody and fathered Una. Died in Buried in Concord, Massachusetts. Great-great-great-great grandfather, John Hawthorne, was judge at Salem witch trials The novel is set in the mids in Boston, Massachusetts. It encompasses a period of seven years and the plot involves lover-husband-wife, the theme of this book is developed in the context. A lot of our customs today come from this time period. In the past, questioning any of these could result in serious punishments.

In both The Scarlett Letter and The House of Seven Gables, Hawthorne demonstrates the impact of going against the customs as well as social etiquette in the nineteenth century. To begin, in both novels, sin and knowledge are the source of all problems. In The Scarlett Letter, hypocrisy is a prominent. Hawthorne reveals her fantastic character to us in numerous uses of symbolism throughout the novel.

By painting a picture of a gentle yet proud woman, Hawthorne chooses to represent Alice's impressive characteristics using images that come up repeatedly. The house is old and overrun by moss weeds and bushes, but the greatest aspect is the gigantic tree in the front of the house that seems to grow in size as it feeds off the misery of the inhabitants and the decay of the house. The wave of his hand that awakens Phoebe echoes the same action that Matthew Maule used against Alice.

Holgrave, like his ancestor, possesses an acuity concerning the inner workings of the soul which seems somehow illicit and dangerous, and which is represented in his skill as a mesmerist. This ability to control the secrets of consciousness - in effect, insight into the human heart - is what enables Holgrave to explore the darkest aspects of the House and empowers him finally to transform Phoebe into a mature and aware woman.

The reintroduction of the Maule family into the Pyncheon history demonstrates how closely the two families are connected. They share the same fate even generations after the event that first brought Colonel Pyncheon in contact with Matthew Maule. She is despised and mocked by a man who supposedly had no claim on her interest and who would lead her to death. Hepzibah Pyncheon is no longer a young, nor a beautiful woman, although Hawthorne indicates that she was once attractive.

In the present time of the romance, she looks upon the world with a great scowl that mars her appearance. This scowl, the result of poor vision, marks her as a mean and bitter old maid.

She is described as a pitiful and pathetic character, reduced to abject poverty despite her family legacy and possession of the house. Like Clifford, Hepzibah has lived too long in withdrawal and isolation. She also clings to the notion that she is a lady and that her rightful place is aloof from the world. She needed a walk along the noonday street, to keep her sane.

As she welcomes others into the house, she welcomes them into her heart, and both house and heart become less horrible. Hawthorne associates Alice Pyncheon with the elderly Hepzibah. While the young Alice does not have the disadvantage of Hepzibah in her old age, they both share a stately adherence to the codes of conduct for a lady while remaining capable of kindness and generosity. Both characters also serve as the victims among the Pyncheon family, cursed with scorn and humbled by fate.

For Hepzibah the indignity comes from poverty in late in life, while Alice suffers humiliation wrought upon her by Matthew Maule.

SparkNotes: The House of the Seven Gables: Suggested Essay Topics

Phoebe is the heroine of the work. It is she who saves the Pyncheon house from greed and helplessness of the other members of the family. She redeems the family. From the moment of her arrival, the family fortune is on the upturn. The contrast between Phoebe and the house is repeatedly emphasized.

Phoebe in her innocent freshness is outside of Time, which oppresses the house. Phoebe is associated with primordial innocence and order.

She immediately attempts to set the house right. She is another version of Alice Pyncheon whose posies still grow on the roof, but she is stronger and better than the weak, proud Alice.

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While Phoebe represents the new Plebeianism, Hepzibah is the exemplar of the old Gentility. She is thus more suited to the life of capitalist commerce that Hepzibah undertakes, and quickly becomes an adept shopkeeper.

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Although Hawthorne describes both Phoebe and Alice as beautiful and accomplished, Alice belongs to the aristocratic tradition that Phoebe eschews and assumes the role of a victim that does not fit the independent Phoebe. While Hepzibah clings to societal structure, Phoebe has a great affinity with nature. Phoebe, whose name is suggesting sun, is not only able transform the old house, but also the other characters of the romance, who are not able the transform themselves.

The event that recurs in every generation is an occupation with the fate of the eastern lands.

The House of the Seven Gables

The eastern province proved an obsession for Colonel Pyncheon and for his descendants Gervayse and Jaffrey. Colonel Pyncheon managed to get the property that first belonged to Matthew Maule. His descendant Gervayse asks Matthew Maule the younger to come to the House of the Seven Gables to bring up the claim that the Pyncheon family has on the Eastern tract of land. Pyncheon offers Matthew Maule monetary compensation for information leading to the discovery of the lost deed.

Maule in return asks the favor of talking with Alice Pyncheon. With a wave if his hand, by some magic Maule renders Alice incapable of movement, then awakens her. Matthew Maule claims that he now controls her spirit. She describes three visionary characters, which would possess a mutual knowledge of the missing document. He did not use the powers to ruin her, but to wreak a low, ungenerous scorn upon her.

The house of the seven gables : an authoritative text, backgrounds and sources, essays in criticism

She returns home that night in inclement weather; from this she falls sick and eventually dies. Maule did not mean to kill her, but to humble her. The Maule family holds a serious grudge against the Pyncheons that has not abated. The sin has remained, as a mark among the Pyncheons also exists as a continued injustice against the Maules. Judge Pyncheon demands to see Clifford, who could reveal the location of the deed to the lost land. Pyncheon says that Clifford has concealed this secret because there he considers him the enemy. The Judge threatens with the possibility of having Clifford committed again.

Here for the third time, a Pyncheon seeks the deed to the lost land. However, in this chapter of the Pyncheon chronology, the victim is not a Maule, but instead another Pyncheon. It was for this death that Clifford was blamed and sentenced to prison. It is Holgrave who finds a recess in the wall behind the portrait of Colonel Pyncheon in which the map and deed to the eastern land has been hidden. Holgrave admits that he knew this because he is actually a Maule, the descendant of the old wizard.

In these three different generations, we can thus notice the recurrence of one motif, with each time another variation. In the first generation, Colonel Pyncheon versus Matthew Maule, there is the claim of property, the prophecy of a Maule and the mysterious death of the Colonel. In the second generation, Gervayse Pyncheon versus Maule the younger, there is once again a claim of property; in this case the claim concerns the eastern lands and the supernatural powers of Maule the younger upon Alice Pyncheon.

In the third generation, Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon versus Clifford Pyncheon the motif is modified once again: the claim of the eastern land by a Pyncheon is repeated, this time the one who possesses the key towards possession is not a Maule but a Pyncheon, Clifford. A Maule with mystical powers in this constellation is Holgrave, who has power over Phoebe.

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The mysterious death of a Pyncheon is another repeated element; therefore this time the mystery and also the mysterious death of the first Pyncheon is solved, as it is due to a physical predisposition among the Pyncheons to die from a stroke. But in this generation the motif is interrupted by the intended marriage between Holgrave and Phoebe, between a Pyncheon and a Maule. Since Holgrave is actually a descendant of the Maule, his union with Phoebe brings the two families together harmoniously.

As the new heir to the Pyncheon fortune with Phoebe, Holgrave will thus receive the land that his ancestors rightly deserved. It seems that the Pyncheons are redeemed and that the curse is broken. This is stressed through regular references to them in the narrative and particularly through their appearance at both the beginning as the end of the romance. The irony resides partly in the ambition of the man who built that house, and in the continued lust for the power of those who come after him; the house militates against the growth of the family for whose aggrandizement it was built.

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