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On a first read religion does not seem to play a major role in Hawthornes House of Seven Gables It is mentioned that Phoebe goes to church but the reader doesnt accompany her on her journey or through the service And while she is a pious proper and ideal woman she is not described in religious terms unlike Ellen in Warners Wide Wide World Hepzibah tries to pray but isnt successful for the most part Religion appears as a very trivial part of the book This is probably due in part to the gothic style of the novel that draws the readers attention to the supernatural aspects of the story However when engaging in an in-depth analysis of the text the underlying biblical allusions are quite evident The name Hepzibah is taken from The Bible where it appears twice in 2 Kings 211 where Hephzibah is referred to as being the mother of King Manasseh and again in Isaiah 624 where the city of Jerusalem is called Hephzibah Hephzibah literally means my delight is in her NKJV 875 Hepzibahs development as a character mirrors that of the prophecy made about the city of Jerusalem is Isaiah 624 For Zions sake I will not hold my peace And for Jerusalems sake I will not rest Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness And her salvation as a lamp that burns The Gentiles shall see your righteousness And all kings your glory You shall be called by a new name Which the mouth of the Lord will name You shall be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord And a royal diadem in the hand of you God You shall no longer be termed Forsaken Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate But you shall be called Hephzibah and your land Beulah For the Lord delights in you And your land shall be married For as a young man marries a virgin
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