The Analysis Of Light And Dark
Imagery ( House Of Seven Gables ) Essay, Research Paper
The Analysis of Light and Dark Imagery
Nathaniel Hawthorne s The House of the Seven Gables, uses many qualities of symbolism which aid develop the novel s chief thoughts. Darkness is the symbolic colour of the Pyncheon s. Contrasted with its opposite, light, it forms one of the major symbols of the novel: the resistance of dark and visible radiation. Hawthorne utilizations dark imagination throughout his novel to show a sense of decay, but he besides uses light imagination to shoot hope.
Nathaniel Hawthorne in The House of the Seven Gables describes Phoebe as an lighting pinpoint of light transforming the darkness of the house like the visible radiation of morning ( 92 ) . This description of Phoebe, utilizing light imagination, expresses that she is an guiltless adult female with an interior spirit to assist interrupt the Pyncheon s expletive. Clark Giffith records in Hawthorne s Imagery: The Proper Light and Shadow in the Major Romances that Phoebe is instead excessively evidently a small beam of sunlight & # 8230 ; ( 37 ) . When Phoebe enters the house from the cheery daytime, and is about blinded by the denseness of shadows skulking in the transitions of the old house, the contrast between Phoebe s lighted presence against the dark glooming house can be seen.
The old Pyncheon-elm, which stands over the house, is a symbol of Resurrection from the darkness and decay. In Chapter 19, Alice s Posies, the Pyncheon elm is all of a sudden filled with the forenoon Sun in fact, one subdivision of the elm has been transmutated to bright gold. The elm is peculiarly particular at the terminal of the novel because it was left unhurt after the storm, the remainder of the tree is in perfect greenery, a symbol of life non of decease. The tree has come to typify nature and nature s Resurrection, and in a sense this Resurrection of nature provides a strong image of hope. Masterpieces of American Literature suggests As the house and its dwellers have decayed, the elm tree has grown about as though it were nourished by the decay of the Pyncheon household & # 8230 ; The elm has grown with each season, but the dwellers of the house have become stunted. ( Magill 221-222 ) . The Pyncheon s elm is full of life and visible radiation because it has eventually succeeded in dominating the Pyncheon s dark and desolate family.
In Chapter one, The Old Pyncheon Family, Hawthorne describes the house utilizing assorted dark elements. He expresses to his readers that the house is in ruins and is destined to prostration, which is representative of the Pyncheon household. Richard Fogle provinces in Hawthorne s Fiction: The Light and the Dark:
There is a certain suggestion in the novel, though, that the humanity and self-respect
of the house are inseparable from its problems ; this suggestion is found in the
Ges of visible radiation and dark. Although storm and sunlight have
constituted the history of the house, the darkness of the baleful storm is
prevalent, as the venerable sign of the zodiac & # 8230 ; grew black in the east-wind. This
darkness is early foreshadowed. Hawthorne describes how the panic and
ugliness of Maule s offense darkened the newly painted walls of the house
until it became a grey, feudal palace. ( 220-221 )
Hawthorne s usage of darkness in the novel normally represents the decaying of either theHawthorne s usage of darkness in the novel normally represents the decaying of either the house or the household. In American Writers, Leonard Unger states Clifford s dressing gown is now a dark and faded garment, and it is therefore a adjustment emblem for its wearer and a symbol for the full Pyncheon household ( 242 ) . Leonard Unger besides goes on to province that there are many other objects located in the Pyncheon s house that symbolizes the disintegrating life style of the Pyncheons household:
The darkness of the old Pyncheon house is impressive and important.
Within its deepnesss are shady emblems of the past, each stand foring immorality
masterminds of the Pyncheon household. The hereditary chair is a reminder non merely
of the old Colonel but besides the susceptibleness to Maule s expletive ( what appears
to be apoplexy ) ; the portrayal and the map are indistinctly seeable items of the
Colonel s inflexible sternness and greed. The cembalo is likened to a
casket ( remembering Alice s fatal pride ) . None of the objects can be
distinguished really clearly in the darkness, but the novel shows that they
hold an ineluctable world. ( 244-245 )
In Chapter 17, The Guest, Clifford describes the Pyncheon s dark and deathly house of the seven gables as & # 8230 ; a rusty, loony, creaky, dry-rotted, damp-rotted, begrimed, dark, and suffering keep. He besides goes on to state it is a great, glooming, dark-chambered sign of the zodiac. . . a dark, low, cross-beamed, wainscoted room of an old house. Both these descriptions of the house give off the dark disintegrating puting which helps to develop the contrasting thoughts of both light and dark imagination within the novel.
Unger expresses that the dark Pyncheon s house holds many points that symbolize the Pyncheons decaying life style.
The contrasting visible radiation and dark images used in Nathaniel Hawthorne s fresh aid each other to equilibrate out good and evil. Darkness creates the image of the disintegrating Pyncheon household while visible radiation, antagonizing the effects of darkness, creates hope and a mark of salvation. In the terminal, light overcomes the dark disintegrating universe of the Pyncheons wickednesss, and the goodness still left within the household remain life.