Inner Truths in The House of the Seven Gables

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Inner Truths in The House of the Seven Gables

It was Hawthorne’s belief that romances deal with inner truths, while novels are based on "mere fact." Because he held himself to be a romance writer, inner truths were elemental themes in The House of the Seven Gables. The truths that he conceived, and expressed, in the story range from the concept that death and suffering do not discriminate based on one’s position in society to the karmic effects one generation may have on those of future generations. Hawthorne saw these themes as important concepts that went beyond simple didactic commentaries. As a romance writer he wanted his reader to understand his conceptions on a complete level, and to achieve this he realized that he must delve into an unusual space in the reader's mind. The supernatural plays an important role in this goal in The House of the Seven Gables. The Supernatural challenges the reader to use her imagination and step out of her usual stereotypes and beliefs so that she may observe the story as Hawthorne wrote it. This challenge is meant to help the reader grasp Hawthorne’s conceptions.

Maule’s curse at the gallows is the beginning of the development for one of Hawthorne’s central themes: guilt will stay for generations. In regards to this "karmic" theme, Maule’s curse, a supernatural power, foreshadows the future of the Pyncheon family. Maule insists, "God will give him blood to drink!" and as we read on it appears that this portion of the curse does indeed come to pass.

But the effects of the curse do not end there. As men began to build the Pyncheon home on Maule’s land, the famous spring water on the property "entirely lost the deliciousness of its pristine quality." The land that Colonel Pyncheon intended to have for his family immediately started losing its value as the "pristine" well became foul. As the story goes on it, becomes clear that the curse will similarly effect the Pyncheon family, making what once was rich very poor.

Maule’s supernatural power is further developed with the use of ghosts. The use of these spirits implies that all inhabitants of the house are in a state of unrest. Although Colonel Pyncheon was the one to commit the sin against Maule, all his relatives will pay for the deed. Alice Pyncheon was said "to haunt the House of the Seven Gables and.
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