An essay about whether the characters in the House of the Seven Gables (written by Nathaniel Hawthorne) are responsible for their own bad luck, or if it has to do more with fate.

Essay by lexiferUniversity, Bachelor's October 2004

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In The House Of the Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne presents an ongoing deliberation on whether the Pyncheon's bad luck is caused by fate or whether it is caused by their own choices and actions. This inevitably causes the reader to constantly question weather they will ever truly escape the history of the dark and decaying mansion. In the beginning of the story, Hawthorne gives a reason to believe that it is fate controlling the family members by presenting detailed descriptions of the curse that was born and continues to thrive in the house. But later in the book, the Pyncheon's, especially Hepzibah and Clifford, reveal themselves to be passive characters submissively accepting their bad luck. The Pyncheon characters, Hepzibah, Clifford, and Judge Jaffrey, are responsible for their own bad luck by creating fear in themselves on account of the twisted history of the house, leaving imagination to take control of their own logic, and by openly committing the seven deadly sins, whereas the more humble member of the family, Phoebe, leads an easier and happier life.

Hepzibah and Clifford are predominately the two characters creating their own prison of fear in the house. Hepzibah constantly goes back and forth looking at the portrait on the wall and the photograph, reminding herself of the Colonel and of the curse itself. She is also driven by fear when the Judge, who looks disturbingly like the Colonel himself, comes to her house the last time before he passes away, threatening her that Clifford will go to a mental institution if she doesn't comply to his request of seeing him. Out of fear of his power and his striking resemblance to the Colonel Pyncheon, she rushes inside the house in search of her brother. Everything Hepzibah is experiencing is psychological and she needs...