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The House of the Seven Gables

The House of the Seven Gables


by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Barrel-Organ Monkey

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

There is a man who carries a hand-held organ to Pyncheon Street to play for pennies. He is accompanied by a small monkey who goes out into the crowd dancing and begging for coins. Hawthorne seizes this opportunity to remind us that he is "symbolizing the grossest form of the love of money" (11.6). This cunning little monkey cares about nothing except for cash. In that respect, is he any different from respectable people like Judge Pyncheon?

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