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Hawthornes Symbolism in The House of Seven GablesAmerican Literature reflects life and the struggles that we faceduring our existence The great authors of our time incorporate lifesproblems into their literature directly and indirectly The storiesthemselves bluntly tell us a story however an author also uses symbolsto relay to us his message in a more subtle manner In NathanielHawthornes book The House of Seven Gables symbolism is eloquentlyusedto enhance the story being told by giving us a deeper insight into theauthors intentions in writing the storyThe book begins by describing the most obvious symbol of the houseitself The house itself takes on human like characteristics as it isbeing described by Hawthorne in the opening chapters The house isdescribed as breathing through the spiracles of one greatchimneyHawthorne 7 Hawthorne uses descriptive lines like this toturn the house into a symbol of the lives that have passed through itshalls The house takes on a persona of a living creature that existsand influences the lives of everybody who enters through its doorsColacurcio 113 So much of mankinds varied experience had passedthere - so much had been suffered and something too enjoyed - thatthe very timbers were oozy as with the moisture of a heart Hawthorne27 Hawthorne turns the house into a symbol of the collection of allthe hearts that were darkened by the house It was itself like a greathuman heart with a life of its own and full of rich and somberreminiscences Hawthorne 27 Evert Augustus Duyckinck agrees that Thechief perhaps of the dramatis personae is the house itself From itsturrets to its kitchen in every nook and recess without and within itis alive and vital Hawthorne 352 Duyckinck feels that the house ismeant to be used as a symbol of an actual character Truly it is anactor in the sceneHawthorne 352 This turns the house into aninteresting but still depressing place that darkens the book in manyways Hawthorne means for the houses gloomy atmosphere to symbolizemany things
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