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The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

It is a gothic novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne and published in 1851. It is an obligatory reference to American literature, so we invite you to download a copy of The House of the Seven Gables in PDF format below.

The inspiration for this work comes from a real house located in the town of Salem, Massachusetts, which is now a national heritage site. It is known as the Turner Mansion.

Hawthorne grew up in a house adjacent to the mansion, which stands at 54 Turner Street.

The House of the Seven Gables tells the fictional story of its construction, as well as of a curse that lies upon it and the family that has inhabited it for generations.

The gothic setting, the supernatural events that take place in it and its impeccable narration make it a representative work of the gothic horror subgenre.

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The House of the Seven Gables in PDF Format

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Summary of The House of the Seven Gables

At the end of the 16th century, Colonel Pyncheon of Salem used his influence to condemn Mathew Maule, a humble peasant accused of practicing witchcraft.

At the same time, Pyncheon manifested his perverse desire to take over Maule’s property. The farmer had, according to rumors, a shady and dark past, so it was not difficult to get him executed.

Maule never agreed to give his property to Pyncheon and before he was executed he uttered some frightening words to the colonel, which were interpreted as a curse.

Ignoring these words, Pyncheon decides to build a large house with seven roofs on Maule’s land.

When it was finished, he gave a housewarming party, but that same day the guests found him dead in one of the rooms.

The next generations of the Pyncheon family lived in that house and other tragedies happened there.

Already located in the 19th century, the mansion of the seven gables is inhabited by a survivor, Hepzibah Pyncheon, who stays there alone with a tenant to whom she rents one of the rooms.

With his fortune dwindling, Hepzibah finds it necessary to open a grocery store in her own home.

Although she does not sell very well, some curious customers come by to buy some products, among them Judge Pyncheon, a relative of Hepzibah’s whom she does not allow into her house.

Another relative also arrives, young Phoebe Pyncheon, of remarkable beauty, who comes to spend a few days at the house.

At first, Hepzibah doesn’t seem to trust her very much, however, she soon realizes that she brings an air of joy and life to the mansion.

In addition, the girl proves to be a good businesswoman, so her stay is extended for a while longer.

During Phoebe’s stay, a series of strange events occur in the spooky place.Little by little, some secrets are revealed and mysteries related to the history between the Pyncheons and the Maules are unraveled, leading us to the ending, with some unexpected twists and turns.

FAQ about The House of the Seven Gables

What did Matthew Maule say to Pyncheon before he died?

Before dying and executed for sorcery, Matthew Maule utters the following words to Colonel Pyncheon: “God will give you blood to drink.”

It is believed that from then on a curse will be placed on the officer’s family that will last for generations.

How does The House of the Seven Gables end?

The tenant of the house of seven gables, Holgrave, who had become engaged to Phoebe, turned out to be a Maule. He held information about some Pyncheon family acreage in the eastern part of the country.

Ending the family curse, he decides to hand over the ownership papers of the land and they all move to a new house.

What is the central theme of The House of the Seven Gables?

The House of the Seven Gables deals with the theme of guilt and sins inherited through generations in the same family. The Pyncheons of the 19th century were still paying for the mistakes of their ancestors, giving life to a vicious circle of misfortunes.

What is the character of Hepzibah like?

Hepzibah is a woman who is beginning to get old, she has refined manners and although she seems to suffer from bitterness, it is only in appearance. Her frown is due to myopia she suffers from.

Hepzibah suffers from having to step down from her inherited status to make up for her economic shortcomings.