The House Of The Seven Gables Essay

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Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables


The mood of Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables is dark, and painstakingly creepy and slow. The story centers around the murders of two men, centuries ago, the curse that was placed upon the house as a result of that conflict, and the repercussions to the current generation. The overall story is like that of a nightmare of total and complete oppressive darkness. Not so much the fright that results from images of goblins and monsters, but that feeling of being scared of the dark; not because of what is there, but because of what you don’t know is there.

Hawthorne sets this mood by describing the events that triggered the curse placed upon the Pyncheon mansion in the very first chapter,
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It was itself like a great human heat, with a life of it’s own, and full of rich and somber reminiscences,” you feel as if the house holds deep resentment for its residents and that it is contemplating its next attempt at haunting for the entertainment of seeing them hide underneath their bed covers. And that, with each creak and groan of the old estate, the wizards death is warranted by the enjoyment that is gained from each chill and shiver of the residents, and the curse that “God will give them blood to drink” was premeditated merely for the old houses enjoyment.

The very construction of the house itself portrays the feeling that, even though you don’t know what exactly you have done wrong, or pretend to not know, the house can see through your transparent shell, right to the core of your sin. “The deep projection of the second story gave the house such a meditative look that you could not pass it without the idea that it had secrets to keep, and an eventful history to moralize upon.” All in all, the house is the centralizing character that creates the mood of darkness, suspense and revenge.

This mood helps to portray the underlying moral of the story of how our actions have consequences. Colonel Pyncheon, because of his incredible covetousness in desiring Matthew Maule’s acreage and his participation in putting all assumed wizards to death, placed a curse upon all future Pyncheons. The permanence of the house and the…

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