The House of the Seven Gables Study Guide

The House of the Seven Gables Study Guide

Original title:
The House of the Seven Gables

“The House of Seven Gables” is a Gothic novel, full of impossible coincidences, haunted places and family curses. Do not expect too much realism from it, just prepare for the great and enjoyable story of the family whose patriarch was once cruel and unfair to the wrong person.

The vivid description of the grim and rusty House of the Seven Gables that opens the book immediately sets the tone of the narrative. We learn about the patriarch of Pyncheon family who was very unfair to the builder of this house and the dire consequences it had for all the Pyncheon family descendants for two centuries after the mysterious death of the first one of them.

The main heroine also fits the overall tone: her name is Hepzibah, which is quite unusual, she is an old and odd lady living in the House and is considered very strange by the locals. The story of Hepzibah, who still hosts a kind heart under such an appearance, is the story of the last generation of Pyncheons, who have either to lift the curse or die unforgiven. This plot, typical for the Gothic novels, takes an unexpected turn here, drifting away from classical horror more to the detective story (though several very strange deaths are still involved and the mystical atmosphere sends chills down our spines until the very last page).

Despite the bleak surrounding, there is a place for the real courage, love, kindness and selflessness in the story. The main characters of the story, young and passionate, led by Hepzibah now have a chance to relive the events that happened two centuries ago, face the same cruelty their ancestor has shown and fix all the wrongness he inflicted into the neighboring family of the builder.

Do not expect too many of supernatural twists and turns in “The House of Seven Gables”, but it still features all the traits of Gothic novels we love so much: family curse, strange events, haunted place and the dark mystery that has yet to be solved.

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