The Beating Heart Of The Seven Gables

Decent Essays
The Beating Heart of The House of the Seven Gables Nathaniel Hawthorne extensively weaves symbolism into the pages of The House of the Seven Gables to bring the house and the items within it to life. The use of gothic elements within the house directly reflects upon the decaying of the Pyncheon family. Their once lively home stands as a constant reminder of the family’s legacy. The Pyncheon mansion strongly represents the decaying of the Pyncheon family over time. In the early 1800’s, when the house was first built, the Pyncheons were a thriving, wealthy, and influential family. However, as time goes on, the house starts to become an eerie residence in the same way the Pyncheon’s glory fades. The author describes the darkness of the…show more content…
Hepzibah realizes the contrast between the two of them, and on Clifford’s return demands Phoebe to greet him first by saying, “Pheobe; for you are young and rosy, and cannot help letting a smile break out whether or no. He always liked bright faces! And mine is old now, the tears are hardly dry on it” (page 70). In the yard outside the house stands an overgrown elm tree symbolizing the growth of the darkness in the Pyncheon family. The great tree blocks the sun from shining into the home. Hawthorne symbolizes this as the burden and secrets that cast a dark shadow over the family. When the tree first sprouts upon the lawn and grows, beauty radiates from it in the same way the Pyncheons first radiate their glory. Inside the house remains the memory of Alice Pyncheon found within her coffin-like harpsichord. The harpsichord plays beautiful melodies that still echo through the house. They serve as a constant reminder of Alice’s spirit. However, the instrument representing a coffin reminds those who wonder about Alice 's legacy of her tragic ending. By using a coffin-like harpsichord, Hawthorne employs a dual symbol to an item. Much like how the house causes unease to those who dare glance in its direction, the painting of Colonel Pyncheon lets off the same threatening vibe. The glare the old Pyncheon holds in the portrait keeps people who observe the artwork from attempting to remove it from the wall. Hawthorne writes, “there
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