The Theme Of Greed In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The House Of The Seven Gables

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“A man will commit almost any wrong—he will heap up an immense pile of wickedness, as hard as granite, and which will weigh heavily upon his soul, to eternal ages—only to build a great, gloomy, dark-chambered mansion, for himself to die in, and for his posterity to be miserable in. He lays his own dead corpse beneath the underpinning, as one may say, and hangs his frowning picture on the wall, and, after thus converting himself into an Evil Destiny, expects his remotest great-grandchildren to be happy there!” (Hawthorne 226). Man’s greed is so inherently engrained in the being that man would be in charge of his own unhappiness. The fall of man is the original sin of greed. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables, the American sin of greed is personified in Colonel and Judge Pyncheon. If it weren’t for Colonel’s greed, the family would not be burdened with the misfortunes that have befell the Pyncheon family. This greed exemplifies the class struggle in American society through Hawthorne’s characters. Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables is a microcosm of the reality of American society and reflects on the greed of the wealthy and the class divide of society.…show more content…
Greed encumbered the family with the Maule’s curse. The Pyncheon greed is a form of aristocracy and an illustration of the class divide in American society. As Holgrave eloquently says: “Shall we never, never get rid of this Past? ...It lies upon the Present like a giant's dead body” (157). Is the Pyncheon greed ended with the death of the Judge (after all, “Of all the events which constitute a person's biography, there is scarcely one — none, certainly, of anything like a similar importance — to which the world so easily reconciles itself as to his death” (266)) and reunion of Phoebe and Holgrave? Or is the curse destined to go on, as the past always repeats
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