Use of Symbolism in Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables Essay

Use of Symbolism in Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables Essay

Length: 1368 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Use of Symbolism in Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables


In the novel The House of the Seven Gables, Hawthorne portrays Alice Pyncheon as a unique and compelling character, placing her in contrast with a story full of greed, lies and betrayal. Hawthorne reveals her fantastic character to us in numerous uses of symbolism throughout the novel. By painting a picture of a gentle yet proud woman, Hawthorne chooses to represent Alice's impressive characteristics using images that come up repeatedly in his novel such as the nature and flowers in the garden as well as Alice's Posies. Hawthorne also makes reference to the Maule "mastery" and its power over Alice and the playing of the harpsichord during a Pyncheon death. All the symbols culminated above, lead to an in depth analysis of Alice Pyncheon's character, her innocence, pride, beauty and mournful sorrow.

According to Hawthorne, Alice had an uncanny resemblance to the flowers of the Pyncheon garden represented by her beauty and presence. Just as flowers hold a purity and freedom in their appearance, Alice was described as a "lady that was born and set apart from the world's vulgar mass by a certain gentle and cold stateliness" (178). Her strong appearance, as Hawthorne states, was "combined of beauty, high, unsullied purity, and the preservative force of womanhood" (180). Hawthorne shows that Alice represents the beauty of a flower as well as its scent when he says "the fragrance of her rich and delightful character still lingered . . . as a dried rosebud scents the drawer where it has withered and perished" (79). Even after her death, the "scent" of Alice's character still haunts the House of the Seven Gables with its beauty and tenderness like that of the flo...


... middle of paper ...


... on a note from Alice's harpsichord off a new sheet of music for the Pyncheon family. By using the nature of the garden to prolong the tenderness and purity of Alice's character and spirit even after death, Hawthorne entices the reader to dig deeper into the character of Alice Pyncheon and search for the symbols present that shape her undying character. With her loss of pride to the Maule "mastery" and the sorrow expressed through her untimely and unnecessary death, there is no question as to why Alice's harpsichord plays such a mournful tune throughout the novel. It is only in the end that her life and her happiness are rewarded and her long awaiting spirit is drawn towards the heavens to have her spirit rest in peace.

Works Cited

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The House of the Seven Gables. New York: The New American
Library of World Literature, Inc, 1961.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Use of Symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne's, The House of the Seven Gables

- The Use of Symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne's, The House of the Seven Gables In Nathaniel Hawthorne's, The House of the Seven Gables, the present is haunted by events of the past; the past actually becomes a curse upon present individuals in this narrative, because it influences their lives. Through the symbols, the actual House of the Seven Gables and the portrait of Colonel Pyncheon, Nathaniel Hawthorne provides sufficient detail to prove his theme - past events, frequently influence the lives of present individuals....   [tags: House of the Seven Gables Essays]

Powerful Essays
1634 words (4.7 pages)

Symbolism in The House of Seven Gables Essay

- Symbolism in The House of Seven Gables                 Literature reflects life, and the struggles that each of us must face. Great authors incorporate life's problems into their literature directly and indirectly.  The author bluntly tell us a story, however, he or she may also use symbols to relay to us a message in a more subtle manner.  In Nathaniel Hawthorne's book The House of Seven Gables symbolism is used to enhance the story being told, by giving us a deeper insight into the author's intentions in writing the story....   [tags: House of the Seven Gables Essays]

Free Essays
2659 words (7.6 pages)

Essay about Symbols and Symbolism in The House of the Seven Gables

- Symbolism in The House of the Seven Gables        American literature reflects life and the struggles faced during existence. Symbols are an eloquent way for an author to create a more fully developed work of art. The stories themselves tell a tale; however, an author also uses symbols to relay his message in a more subtle manner. Nathaniel Hawthorne was one of the earliest authors to use symbols as an integral part of his plots. This is clearly seen in both The Scarlet Letter and in The House of the Seven Gables....   [tags: House of the Seven Gables Essays]

Powerful Essays
3359 words (9.6 pages)

The Scarlet Letter, By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

- Nature’s Impact Looking around at adolescents today, do they even notice nature. Do they recognize the beauty. Probably not—they are too busy with television, social media, and the internet. Copious amounts of literature use the breathtaking and mysterious occurrences of nature to portray the mood and various ideas. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne displays his mastery of making the setting a key part of the plot. Hawthorne manipulates various natural scenes and feelings associated with nature to aid in the reader’s further understanding of the mood in the passage....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Powerful Essays
1021 words (2.9 pages)

Nathaniel Hawthorne: A Literary Genius Essay

- Nathaniel Hawthorne was a great writer of the nineteenth century. To this day, his works continue to be widely read and highly regarded. He was a great writer and wrote about themes that are timeless and could be understood by people in his time as well as today (Diorio 134-135). His use of literary devices such as symbolism, irony, fantasy and illusion made his works very entertaining and powerful. He was said to be a “literary genius” (Diorio 134). Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts....   [tags: literature, symbolism, irony, The Scarlett Letter]

Powerful Essays
2820 words (8.1 pages)

Essay about Hawthornes Use of Pearl as Symbolism in The Scarlett Letter

- Hawthornes Use of Pearl as Symbolism in The Scarlett Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne commingles the use of symbolism frequently in his book The Scarlet Letter. The most complex of these symbols is Pearl, the daughter of the illicit relationship between Hester Pyrnne and Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Pearl possesses intelligence, imagination and an attitude of inquisitiveness and determination, which occasionally gives way to sheer disobedience of her mother’s will. She is a girl of diverse temperaments....   [tags: essays papers]

Powerful Essays
873 words (2.5 pages)

A Character Analysis of Pearl in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

- A Character Analysis of Pearl in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Word Count Includes Outline at the End of the Paper The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a book of much symbolism. One of the most complex and misunderstood symbols in the book is Pearl, the illegitimate daughter of Hester Prynne and Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Throughout the novel Pearl develops into a dynamic symbol; one that is always changing. In the following essay, I will explore Hawthorne's symbolism of Pearl from birth, age three, and age seven....   [tags: Scarlet Letter Hester Hawthorne Pearl Essays]

Powerful Essays
1496 words (4.3 pages)

An Analysis Of Nathaniel Hawthorne 's House Of The Seven Gables And Stowe 's Uncle Tom 's Cabin

- According to the United State’s Bureau of Census, there are present in this nation 125 million physical houses. From the ancient Taj Mahal representing India’s strong hold to religion to the more modern Buckingham palace showcasing England’s powerful monarchy, houses form as a source of protection but also as a symbol of identity. America’s White House clearly defines the symbolic nature of a physical building representing the true identity of the man within and also what the American society stands for as a whole: liberty, freedom, and justice....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, House]

Powerful Essays
2335 words (6.7 pages)

Symbols and Symbolism Essay - Use of Symbols in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

- Use of Symbols in The Scarlet Letter In World Book Dictionary, a symbol is defined as something that stands for or represents something else, especially an idea, quality, or condition. Symbols can be objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent ideas or concepts. In the novel The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, there are many symbols that are throughout the novel. While symbols can be created, such created symbols are subjective and must be given meaning within their context and because the context is different among individuals and societies and can vary over time....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]

Powerful Essays
850 words (2.4 pages)

Nathaniel Hawthorne: A Brief Biography Essay

- On July 4, 1804, an author by the name of Nathaniel Hawthorne was born (Meltzer). As Hawthorne grew, he began to develop a view of himself as “the obscurest man in American letters.” Through the use of popular themes such as isolation, guilt, and earthly imperfection, Hawthorne was able to involve much of his life and ancestral past in his work to answer his own political and religious wonders (“Nathaniel”). Hawthorne successfully “confronts reality rather than evading it” in many of his stories (Clendenning)....   [tags: famous American authors]

Powerful Essays
1292 words (3.7 pages)