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The House of the Seve Gables

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Amelita Moorman

October 16, 2000

The Never-Ending Nightmare

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, but never reveals more than a piece of the motivations and consequences at a time, throughout the remainder of the story.

The descriptions of the house deteriorating throughout the years covered in the book establishes the sensation of the endless nightmare Ð'- that despite mortal man, the house remains as it was from the day it was erected and only the outward appearance changes. . In fact, as the story centralizes around the curse placed upon the house, it is almost the main attraction of the story, the other characters only playing supporting roles to show the potency of the dark power that the house holds on members of the Pyncheon dynasty. Because Hawthorne gives the house human characteristics, "So much of mankind's varied experience had passed there Ð'- so much had been suffered, and something too enjoyed Ð'- that the very timbers were oozy, as with the moisture of a heart. 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



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