Curses Inherited From Previous Generations Essay

Curses Inherited From Previous Generations Essay

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Curses Inherited From Previous Generations (Smith 1)

In the first chapter of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s House of the Seven Gables, we learn the dark history of how the house so easily fell into the lap of the Pyncheon family. Colonel Pyncheon had used his influence and political power to have Mathew Maule put to death under suspicion of witchcraft. It just so happened that Mathew Maule was the owner of a piece of property that the Colonel had been trying to get his hands on for years. Before Maule was hung his last words were, “God will give him blood to drink!” Colonel Pyncheon proceeded to build an incredible house on the spot where Maule’s shack had once stood, known as the House of the Seven Gables. Right from the start it is clear that the house was founded upon sin. Greed, murder and lies were built into the very foundation of the house and would keep a dark cloud over the Pyncheon family for generations to come. Sins of previous generations haunting the next is a key theme in The House of the Seven Gables that manifests itself in some rather cryptic and gothic type ways.
Maule’s last words-“God will give him blood to drink,”-is part of a curse that stays with the Pyncheon family. Colonel Pyncheon was having a party showing off his new house when he was found dead in a chair, his beard and shirt collar soaked in blood. Almost 200 years later Judge Pyncheon is found in the same spot, sitting under the portrait of Colonel Pyncheon and dies in exactly the same manner. The family also inherits some other curses that were supposedly given by Maule such as the looking glass that is said to be cursed. The land that was taken from Mathew Maule was said to have a well with some of the best water around. Once t...


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...stical and captivating romance; but it is the individual greed and sin of particular family members, not the “curse” that proves their downfall. In the end Judge Pyncheon meets his demise while trying to coerce Clifford into telling him where a certain document was that would give him an enormous track of land in Maine. Colonel Pyncheon dies while throwing a party to show his new home that he acquired by having an innocent man killed. Alice Pyncheon is killed when her father greedily allows her to be put in a trance in hopes that he will find the missing deed to the land in Maine. Clifford’s Uncle Jaffrey Pyncheon dies of after seeing his nephew going through his notes. The Maule curse seems to strike the hardest on the cruel and greedy persons in the family and somewhat spares those of sound heart, suggesting that it is more of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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