The Judge Pyncheon Character Analysis

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You Be The Judge: An Investigation of Facade in “The House of Seven Gables”
Self-awareness allows one to understand their own flaws and shortcomings. The ability to assess one’s weaknesses in character allows for reflection introspectively, creating valuable realizations about one’s own identity. However, some members of society lack this innate ability, rendering them unable to understand their own corruption. In an excerpt of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The House of Seven Gables,” the narrator crafts the appearance of morality in Judge Pyncheon, constructing the illusion of respectability, then increasingly displays contempt of the dark reality that “some one wrong act” truly defines Pyncheon’s character.
The narrator sarcastically introduces
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The suggestion that the Judge’s life contains “splendid rubbish [...] to cover up and paralyze a more active and subtle conscience” displays the duality of the characterization which the narrator creates. The juxtaposition of “splendid” and “rubbish” serve to expose the Judge’s deteriorating morals, while crafting the surface of respectability. This subtle use of contrasting opinions aids to establish the narrator’s sarcastic tone, simultaneously displaying the judge’s desired character and then undermining that character with suggestions of his true nature. The choice of the word “rubbish” especially highlights the sarcastic tone, equating the sequence of Judge Pyncheon’s life to that of trash, worthy of nothing. This carefully placed, critical diction reveals the true feelings of the narrator, bolstering his sarcasm. Continuing this tone, he suggests that the Judge himself ignores his own evils, as “this proper face was what he beheld in the looking glass.” The use of the looking…show more content…
Whereas the opening paragraph focuses on the narrator’s subliminal exposure of Pyncheon’s character, he transitions to an outright criticism, directly revealing the target of his sarcasm. The narrator turns to the audience, breaking the fourth wall to address their own morality. He inquires: “would you characterize the Judge by that one necessary deed, and that half-forgotten act, and let it overshadow the fair aspect of a lifetime!” The use of the exclamation point paired with the continuance of sarcasm displays the narrator’s increasingly critical tone, indicating the urgency with which he now reveals the true nature of the Judge. The “one necessary deed” and “half-forgotten act” in conjunction with the “fair aspect of a lifetime” aid the narrator in establishing his criticism. The first paragraph, which displays the corrupted morality of the judge, establishes these descriptions as false, indicating the sarcastic tone of the narrator. Addressing the audience, the narrator implores his readers to recognize the true character of Pyncheon, rather than accepting the facade of morality, indicated by the use of “you” in question form. This sarcastic question, emphasize by the use of exclamation, reveals the narrator’s point as obvious. After spending the entire opening
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