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SYMBOLISM IN NATHANIEL HAWTHORNES THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES In American Literature one can find the everyday struggles of our existence reflected The authors of this literature old and modern communicate the meanings and lessons of their works directly and indirectly The text itself plainly tell us a story but an author also uses symbols to relay his message in a more subtle way Nathaniel Hawthorne does this in his novel The House of the Seven Gables The symbols in The House of the Seven Gables enhance the story the text tells by giving a deeper insight into Hawthornes themes such as the past haunting the present in the novel One of the first symbols introduced in the novel is the house itself Through Hawthornes description in the opening chapters the house takes on a human-like character It is described as breathing through the spiracles of one great chiminy Hawthorne 7 It is descriptions like this that make the house into a symbol of the lives that have been lived there It has the persona of a living creature that exists and influences the lives of everybody that even steps foot into it Curtis 162 The house is also a symbol of the collection of hearts that have darkened while living there Everywhere in the house there is some token of remembrance of the people who have lived there in the past and the hardships they suffered Hawthorne states in the novel It was itself like a great human heart Hawthorne 27 Even though no one in the house will explicitly state it the house and its resident evil controls them all and they cannot leave This will cause their eventual death to take
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