Literary Precedents for The House of the Seven Gables

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Like The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables relies heavily on techniques developed by Gothic novelists during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The House, like the haunted castles in the European versions of Gothic fiction, dominates the landscape and serves as the focal point for the series of sinister and terrifying activities in the story. The novelist also includes a heavy dose of coincidence and a cast of characters bordering on stereotypes. He even uses the device of the interpolated tale, the story of Alice Pyncheon, to add a sense of mystery to his tale.

A number of critics have pointed out parallels between the novel and John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, a seventeenth-century allegory describing the journey of a good Christian to heaven.

As he does in much of his other work, Hawthorne makes frequent allusions to Biblical figures and events; these add resonance...

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This section contains 275 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The House of the Seven Gables Study Guide
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The House of the Seven Gables from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.