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Inner Truths in The House of the Seven Gables

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.

The Character of Esteban in The House of the Spirits

The Character of Esteban in The House of the Spirits

Allende portrays Esteban as having a strong and harsh character in the novel, The House of the Spirits. Yet, after leaving, his mother and sister, and starting a new and independent life, Esteban changes much. For the first time he is successful and wealthy. He feels as if he has no problems, mainly because he does not have a family to weigh him down.

Trueba’s move to Three Marias seems to appease his hunger temporarily, before his monstrous, demanding, and ever growing needs overwhelms him. The type of lifestyle achieved by Esteban Trueba in Three Marias far surpassed that of living with his mother and sister, however only brief moments of satisfaction are incurred. These, previously mentioned, moments created a hunger for perfection and greed that would continue perpetuate at any cost. Receiving a letter from Ferula brings back memories for Esteban of his sad life with her and his mother, which forces him to endure his memories of poverty and pain. He even remembers the smell of medicince, which had encompassed their home. These memories force Esteban to reflect on the reasons why he left them. He reminisces on that portion of his life, occupied by the deterioration of his family. Ferula endured many burdens as well, due to their father’s drinking, then his death, their mother’s age, her chronic sicknesses, and Esteban’s childhood care. A direct result of these chaotic years is the siblings inability to relate. When Esteban bought a luxury, an elaborate coffee with his money she scolded him for “spending Mama’s medicine money on [his] private little whims” (Allende 43). Eventually Esteban tires of this oppressive way of life and goes to search for a “destiny that was bright, free, and full of promise” (Allende 44).

At Tres Marias he hopes to find his Eden. All this cargo from his past is called to his attention by the letter he receives from Ferula. The letter does result in inflicting guilt on Esteban, for his lack of morals and complete selfishness. Ferula tells Esteban, in the letter, that their mother wants to see her son again before she dies. “Esteban had never really loved his mother or felt at ease in her presence,” but he knew that resisting this visit to pay his last respects would be unethical (Allende 71).

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