Consuming tragedy


NathanielHawthorne, also the author of The Red Scarlet, needed change when hewrote The House of Seven Gales in 1851. He had undergone someteething troubles including his mother’s death, and writing TheHouse of Gales, a romantic book, gave him commercial success. Manyspeculations about what triggered his writing arose but his desirewas to demonstrate that he was responsive to the sunshine as much ashe was to darkness. At the beginning of the tale, Hephzibah opens acent-shop followed by phoebe’s arrival transforming the house inthe development and at the end a marriage that seals reconciliationof two feuding families (Bonnet&amp Michele, p 481).According to critics, the tale dynamics were transcended artificiallyand implausibly hence the marriage of Holgrave and Phoebe which waspsychologically improbable. The idea behind Hawthorne’s story wasto include tragedy.

Theauthor uses devices like humor, figurative speech and allusions tobring out the intended message that begins as a tragedy seen from thedecay of the Pyncheon family. Ned Higgins is the one being referredto as the “little cannibal.” He is Hepzibah’s staunchestcustomer. Ned illustrates using a story-within-the-story that tragedyis eminently reversible, and this is further dramatized by allowingNed to incorporate situations that generate anxiety (Bonnet&amp Michele, p 481).

Hawthorneput a child at the center of his story to give his readers adifferent perspective of viewing the world. In so doing the textconfirms that tragedy is entirely a matter of perception because achild’s fears are imaginary. Hawthorne uses romance as a particularkind of lighting that infuses the world and illuminates the hiddentruths getting to the core of reality (Bakhtin,et al. 1984).The charm of love that illuminates Phoebe and Holgrave then it endedup altering situations for both families.

Hawthorne’sTragic Vision as Roy R. Male terms it puts perspective, vision, andpoint of view at the core of experience making life a matter ofperception. Michele Bonnet argues that if tragedy cannot be resolvedinternally, logically, the problem can be displaced by tackling theissue on different terms. According to Bonnet, the author of the talecast his story in different frames. That puts into consideration thePyncheon hens as a satirical fable and a children’s story like theone involving the monster (Bonnet&amp Michele, p 481).The author is thereby able to distance and defuse hardship hencegiving the evidence the power of the genre, form and the ultimatecommand of art. In summary the perfect incorporation of descriptiveaspects of literature such as humor and imagery has made his worksmore vivid to the eyes of the readers.


Typically,Hawthorne has played a crucial role in the description of varioushistorical events to other people who had no chance of witnessingthem. His literature has been of much impact to various generations.It is critical to note that the works of Hawthorne have helped thesociety to shape accordingly and give respect to the previouslegends. In his literature, there is the perfect incorporation ofdifferent aspects of literature such as humor and imagery that assistin conveying the correct message to the readers. Due to that perfectincorporation, his work proved to be of much benefit to all classesof people since he also wrote on many topics that were bothinteresting to the young and old (Bonnet&amp Michele, p 481).Also, through the situations that this writer has gone through, itcan be concluded that his works cover mostly the situations that mostpeople go through in their lives. For instance, loss of loved onescannot be avoided. Thus it implies that his literature in basicallyrequired by everybody to find out some of the better ways of dealingwith such situations. Also, he tries to help readers understand themeaning of their lives and thus brings hope to most of the people. Hestates that life is just a matter of perception thus encouraging thereaders to take life positively for them to enjoy it. The writer alsotouches on the aspect of American Renaissance and Europeanromanticism. This is crucial to the readers since it brings a senseof consciousness to them and educates them on the changinggenerations. In addition, by using romance, he is able to capture thereaders’ concentration since it is a topic liked by many people. Itis crucial to note the choice of characters in his literature whichhelps in passing his information. For instance, he chooses a child atthe center of his story to demonstrate how quickly tragedy can happenor how fast life can be manipulated. This helps us in interpretingthe message and understanding the situation that surrounds us. Inconclusion, the perfect choice of characters and the scenes in theliterature of Hawthorne perfectly helps in displaying the appropriatemessage that he desires. His works bring a sense of humanity andgiving respect the people who participated in legendary events.


Bakhtin,Mikhail Mikhaĭlovich.&nbspRabelaisand his world.Vol. 341. Indiana University Press, 1984.

Bonnet,Michele. &quotConsuming Tragedy and&quot the little cannibal&quotin The House of the Seven Gables.&quot&nbspAmericanTranscendental Quarterly&nbsp20.2(2006): 481.