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Nathaniel Hawthornes use of symbolism The decayed remnants of the house of Pyncheon cling to the decayed house of the seven gables in a comprehensive symbolic representation of inbreeding and lingering aristocratic pretension Buitenhuis 32 The symbolic and aristocratic nature of The House of Seven Gables has tempted critics to read into the five major characters Hepzibah Clifford Phoebe Holgrave and Judge Pyncheon all kinds of moral and psychological intentionsBuitenhuis 88 Nathaniel Hawthorne used and possibly as some might say over used symbolism throughout The House of Seven Gables especially when describing the external world his characters and the interior and exterior of the house itself Hawthorne employs the use of symbolism in his descriptions of the world outside the house Shortly after the book opens both the inner and the outer house acquires a metamorphical as well as a literal significance and when this happens the verbal scheme broadens beyond descriptive matters and reintroduces symbolism Consider the street although we are once or twice informed that it is only a quiet lane Hawthornes actual descriptions abounding in masses of heavy surface detail generally belie this picture In fact the sharply etched street scenes more often suggest a place of ceaseless turmoil-of possessions and tradesman carts and omnibuses swarming constantly past Hence the impression grows that while on certain occasions the street may be a secluded byway at other times it becomes a comprehensive symbol of the brisk nineteenth century world Griffith 15 Throughout The House of the Seven Gables Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism to describe the characters At first glance to be sure any conceptual frame flexible enough to include the characters will seem highly improbable Nevertheless all belonging to the world outside the house and are presented in terms of key images Each for different reasons resists the profounder implications of the inner house Griffith 14 As Hawthorne deals with each one of the characters respective states of innocence his
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