The House of the Seven Gables Social Concerns

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As he does in The Scarlet Letter (1850), Hawthorne takes for the subject of The House of the Seven Gables the history of his New England forebears.

Concentrating on the rigid social dicta which governed the lives — both public and private — of the citizens of Salem, Massachusetts, he presents a graphic image of the cruelties which resulted from adherence to strict codes of behavior which fail to take into account human feelings.

One might reduce the principal theme of The House of the Seven Gables to a single quotation from the Bible:

"The sins of the fathers shall be visited upon their sons." Certainly at the heart of the novel is the notion that the behavior of one's ancestors determines in a significant way the present opportunities and attitudes of succeeding generations. Through the story of the Pyncheon family, the novelist demonstrates how an ancient curse &mdash...

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This section contains 293 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.