Holgraves Challenges Essay

1885 words - 8 pages

Challenges and changes are a part of life. Many people, especially elderly who have set views can very easily resent changes and anything that can be seen as a challenge to their ideas and the tines they remember. Magic has always been part of life but sometimes the magic life takes on a maliciois spirit when manipulated by those who seek to bring about ruin. Society is built on traditions and revolutions to challenge others. These seemingly unconnected ideas come together in the character of Holgrave ans the plot of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The House of the Seven Gables. Holgrave works as a force of change and challenges conceptions through his profession as a daguerreotypist. But at the same time his ideas ans actions are based on his identy os a Maule, a family, which meet its downfall by the work of a Pyncheon in Puritan days of settlement. Holgrave affects changes in the novel and works to help others see the truth of the sitution. Holgrave himself and his views on the past are changed by his actions in marrying a Pyncheon.
     Hepzibah is scarred by the chllenges to her own conventionally and sees what holgrave stands for as a threat to her ideas but he does not frighteen her. She had orginally seen him as a “well-meaning and ordwely young man” (Hawthorne 63). This orginal assesment, based on his appearance, is what caused Hepzibah to grant him permission to take out a room. But as time went on “she hardly knew what to make of him” (63). She observed that his friends all desired new ideas , particularly those of dress. Hepzibah also tells Pheobe that he challenged many ideas in a speech that he had made annd that she believes hin\m to be involved as a practioner of the black arts. Pheobe becoms very frightened and inquires as to why Hepzibah allows such a “lawlwss person” (63) to stay and Hepzibah’s response is “… he has a law of his own” (63). Even with all these conserns Hepzibah has about holgrave she “has to admit from her own contact with him that even by her formal standardshe is a quiet and orderly young man” (Matthiessen 371). So even though she voices all her suspicions about holgrave’s morality to Pheobe, Hepizbah, in the end, still believes in the truth of her orginal feelings about Holgrave. Not only her acceptance od Holgrave but her dependence on him as shown in the chapter entitled “The First Custemer”. She decided to open the cent shop in the Pyncheon house once more. This seems like a great feat for someone so far removed form society. The cent shop has been stocked and cleaned for business. It is soon learned that Holgrave has helped with the re-opening of the cent shop. He inquires as to if he “can assist you any further” (Hawthorne 31). Here it is shown that dor all her reservations, Hepzibah is willing to accept help from this man who she distrusts, “Hepzibah’s limited intercourse with the world and her comparative ineptitude at handling the merchandise of the shop” (Marks 340). When...

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