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MonkeyNotes-The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
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STUDY QUESTIONS

1. Explain how Hawthorne has succeeded in transforming the character of Hepzibah.

2. Phoebe's arrival at the house of the seven gables brings about a reversal of fortunes in the lives of the inhabitants. Explain how this happens.

3. What are the changes that occur in Clifford's character? Is there a complete change in his character?

4. Holgrave has often been described as a representative American. Do you agree with this view? Give reasons for your answer.

5. Discuss the use of symbols in the House of the Seven Gables. 6. How does Hawthorne explore the theme of isolation in the novel?

7. How does Hawthorne manage to convey the dual nature of the Judge? Explain with reference to his actions and the symbolism used.

8. How does Hawthorne create an atmosphere of evil in the novel?

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Gollin, Rita K. Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Truth of Dreams.
Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979.

Mattheissen, F.O. American Renaissance. New York, 1941.

Waggoner, Hyatt. Hawthorne: A Critical Study. Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 1963.

Havens, Elmer A. "The 'Gold Branch' as Symbol in The House of
the Seven Gables."

Modern Language Notes, 64 (January, 1954), pp. 20-22


COMMENT ON THE STUDY OF LITERATURE

The study of literature is not like the study of math or science, or even history. While those disciplines are based largely upon fact, the study of literature is based upon interpretation and analysis. There are no clear-cut answers in literature, outside of the factual information about an author's life and the basic information about setting and characterization in a piece of literature. The rest is a highly subjective reading of what an author has written; each
person brings a different set of values and a different background to the reading. As a result, no two people see the piece of literature in exactly the same light, and few critics agree on everything about a book or an author. In this set of PinkMonkey® Literature Notes for a well-known piece of literature, we at PinkMonkey.com have tried to give an objective literary analysis based upon the information actually found in the novel, book, or play. In the end, however, it is an individual interpretation, but one that we feel can be readily supported by the information that
is presented in the guide. In your course of literature study, you or your professor/teacher may come up with a different interpretation of the Mood or the theme or the conflict. Your interpretation, if it can be logically supported with information contained within the piece of literature, is just as correct as ours. So is the interpretation of your teacher or professor.

Literature is simply not a black or white situation; instead, there are many gray areas that are open to varying analyses. Your task is to come up with your own analysis that you can logically defend. Hopefully, these PinkMonkey® Literature Notes will help you to accomplish that goal.

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