Nathanial Hawethorne's novel "House of the Seven Gables".

Essay by ouccookCollege, Undergraduate November 2003

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Fairytales appeal to readers because they deal with good and evil characters in entertaining scenarios. Part of the appeal of fairytales is their "happy-ever-after" endings. The resolution of fairytales usually results in evil characters succeeded by good characters. Fairytales also involve love, release from entrapment and rightful gain. The conclusion of Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel, The House of the Seven Gables, presents an idealized wish-world for the reader by appealing to the reader's desire for a "happy-ever-after" ending using fairytale qualities.

One particular quality of a fairytale ending which is present in The House of the Seven Gables is the succession of good over evil. Little Red Riding Hood by Charles Perrault is an example of a fairytale with good succeeding over bad. The wolf, which represents evil, is slain by the woodcutter in order to save little Red Riding Hood. Another example of a fairy tale that demonstrates good versus evil is the Brothers Grimm's Hansel and Gretel.

Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon is the symbolic character of evil in The House of the Seven Gables. Judge Pyncheon as two personalities, one is the upstanding citizen and the other is the one with the hidden past and inner cruelties. Hawthorne's description of the Judge in chapter fours gives the reader insight into the Judges true qualities:

At first sight, it [the cent-shop] seemed not to please him-nay, to cause him exceeding displeasure-and yet the next moment, he smiled [...]. He caught a glimpse of Hepzibah, who involuntarily bent forward to the window; and then the smile changed from acrid and disagreeable, to the sunniest complaisance and benevolence. (57).

Further analysis of the story reveals Hepzibah's reaction to the Judge's presence. She speaks unfavorably about her cousin and her dislike is obvious to the reader. Upon Phoebe's first encounters with the Judge, the...