The House Of The Seven Gables By Nathaniel Hawthorne

9437 words - 38 pages

The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

"The House of the Seven Gables" is a romantic novel set in a grand and rustic, old house with seven

gables in New England town. The story opens with its history, beginning in the 1690's, when

witch-hunting was rampant. Afterwards, it revolves around the course of one summer in the 1850's.

At his housewarming party, Colonel Pyncheon, the socially noted owner of the house was

mysteriously found dead in one of the rooms. Although he was highly esteemed for his wealth and

high position, legend has it that he usurped the land on which his house stood from a poor fellow

named Matthew Maule. Maule was a nobody. Furthermore, he was rumored to be practicing

witchcraft. For this, he was hanged and it was rumored that Pyncheon was responsible for it because

he wanted the land for himself. However, his social prominence and Maule's infamy allowed him to

get away with the crime smoothly. Before Maule died though, cursed him saying, "God will give him

blood to drink."

For years, the Pyncheon-Maule dispute carried on. The long line of Pyncheons struggled to keep

the land from their rivals. Though they succeeded in this, their greed became their own undoing.

Alice Pyncheon dies because her father, Gervayse, allowed her to be hypnotized by a Maule also

named Matthew, because he believed him when he said that he needed Alice's mind to find a the

hidden Pyncheon treasure. Clifford Pyncheon was another victim of the greed of his cousin Judge

Jaffrey Pyncheon. He framed him and sent him to prison for killing their uncle so that he could have

the Pyncheon fortune to himself.

However, after many years, the once talked-about mansion was eventually forgotten, and the story

focuses on the time when Hepzibah Pyncheon, an old and lonely spinster inhabited it. She was often

feared for the scowl on her face that was actually only the result of a chronic squint due to her poor

eyesight. Proud and without talent for practical matters, she is a symbol of decaying aristocracy.

She grieves for her beloved brother, Clifford, who was framed and imprisoned. She had a boarder

named Holgrave. He is an attractive and imtellectual young man with modern views and notions.

He preaches about social reform to Hepzibah and Phoebe.

When her money was running out, Hepzibah was forced to open little bakeshop in the front gable of

the house and abandon her illusion of aristocracy. This only adds to her misery until her young niece,

Phoebe, comes from the country to live with her in the house. Like a ray of sunshine, she lights up

the house with her beauty, simplicity, and free-spiritedness

After 30 years in prison, Hepzibah's brother, Clifford, is released and comes home to the house of

seven gables. He has a love for beauty but the years of seclusion had drawn out the life from him

and he became bitter and spiritless. ...

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