The House of the Seven Gables
The House of the Seven Gables
by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The House of the Seven Gables Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Family

The House of the Seven Gables is all about how families can mess you up. The Pyncheon family is a bad one – maybe even a cursed one – and it passes bad blood down through the years to perpetua...

Fate and Free Will

In The House of the Seven Gables, the theme of family is tied to the question of fate. Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon is a greedy, bullying hypocrite. But he's also only the latest in a long line of Pynche...

Justice and Judgment

You can tell that a book is going to include justice and judgment as a major theme when one of the main characters is, in fact, a judge. There's an important conflict in The House of the Seven Gabl...

Religion

You can't really talk about the Puritans without talking about religion. The Puritans came to Massachusetts in 1630 to found a place where they could practice their particularly strict form of Prot...

Morality and Ethics

The focus of The House of the Seven Gables is on two great crimes: first, Colonel Pyncheon's false accusation of Matthew Maule for witchcraft, and second, Judge Pyncheon's framing of Clifford for m...

Pride

Hepzibah Pyncheon is different from her cousin Judge Pyncheon in almost every way except for one: she takes huge (and arguably unwarranted) personal pride in her family. Hepzibah seems to believe t...

Society and Class

Hawthorne is writing The House of the Seven Gables just 70 years after the American Revolution – less than one person's lifetime. So it makes sense that he would be concerned about the gap betwee...

Gender

Hawthorne's depiction of women in The House of the Seven Gables definitely shows signs of his times: his pity and horror at Hepzibah's ugliness and his giant crush on young, pretty Phoebe get a lit...

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