The Dark Side Of Moby Dick Essay

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The Dark Side Of Moby Dick Essay, Research Paper  The Dark Side of Hawthorne In The House of the Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne exhibits the fate of a family due to a curse by analyzing the most “disagreeable” secrets of a man’s soul (Great Lives 1077). Hawthorne shows the decay of an aristocratic family due to the sins of the past. He uses allegory within his character’s personalities and emotions to expose “the truth of the human heart” (biography). Hawthorne’s chosen location for this novel reflects greatly on his life and specifically his childhood. Salem is the home of The House of the Seven Gables. Ironically this is the same town in which he was born in and lived in through adulthood. He was raised in this town, therefore he was very aware of the

dark side of its past. He was a part of this past through his ancestors. One of which was a judge in the infamous Salem witch trials. At this trial Hawthorne’s uncle is cursed by a so-called witch with the words, “God will give you blood to drink” (Magill 2736). This curse is much similar to Matthew Maule’s curse on the Pyncheon family (Magill 2734). The solitude of his characters reflects his childhood as well. Growing up, his 2 mother kept herself away from people which led him to become a very solitary man for much of his life. As a young child Hawthorne was lamed. During these years he became well learned with the writings of Edmund Spenser, John Bunyan, and William Shakespear(CSLF 1570). From these men he has gained technique and style. Having lived in Salem most of

his life, Hawthorne is extremely influenced by Puritanism. His writings greatly reflect this. Hawthorne deals much with the sins of a man being pasted down for generations. This is very much a Puritan belief. Puritans are a very superstitious type of person. Thus, this explains Hawthorne’s belief that a curse, such as Maule’s curse, can destroy a well-to-do family (Walker 1577). Hawthorne’s characters dealt with guilt forced on by their ancestor, much of which goes back as far as the Puritans. He commonly plays guilt against innocence within one character, Hepzibah Pyncheon. She feels strongly that she must maintain the lifestyle and tradition of her ancestor Colonel Pyncheon. He shows her many personalities as a demonstration of the “secret motivations” of the heart

(biography). Hepzibah is chained to the curse by her Puritan ancestors therefore her efforts to escape are often doomed. When she no longer has the money to fight the destruction of her blood line she turns 3 to the shop of the past for survival. The style with which Hawthorne portrays this character among others is very superstitious, and they deal much with the evil side of a human being. He often uses a man’s battle with sin and the devil as a source of controversy (Great Lives 1077). The Puritan background instilled in him the reality of the devil and the evil of sinning. In characters such as Hepzibah he uses evil and pain as a game (Encyclopedia of World Biography 214). She spends her life trying to escape from the dreaded Maule’s curse which makes her suffer in the

isolation she has received as a punishment. Hawthorne emphasizes the imperfection of man often (Encyclopedia of World Biography). None of his character are completely good. They all have evil thoughts at one time or another. His characters must deal with the dividing line between what is real and what is imaginary (Great Lives 1077). He focuses on the point that the “truth of the human heart” cannot be found by any earthly source. Thus, Hepzibah’s changing personalities display this question of whom a person really is. Are they good or evil? Are their actions black or white? This leads into Hawthorne’s Transcendentalist beliefs. In the time Hawthorne is writing a movement known as transcendentalism was affecting literature and art. 4 Hawthorne is known as a dark