The House of the Seven Gables

The House of Seven Gables as a Gothic Novel

To be a paradigm of a Gothic novel, The House of Seven Gables needs to include many elements, all which center on the ideas of gloom, horror, and mystery. The action of a Gothic novel takes place in a "run-down, abandoned or occupied, mansion or castle," which often include secret passages, doors, and compartments (Encarta). The mansion also adds its own flavor and variety to the atmosphere of mystery and suspense in the novel by providing a dark and gloomy setting where the story takes place. The basis of mystery and suspense in the atmosphere of the novel feeds off of "an unexplained or supernatural event" in the present or from past generations (Harris). The unexplained event in the novel is a result of ancient prophecy in connection with the history of the mansion, or the earlier generations, and explains the negative vicissitude in future present generations. The ancient prophecy sometimes only provides the reader with "partial or confusing" information or only provides one side of the story, thus presenting and even stronger feeling of mystery in the novel (Harris). Bad omens and visions of death also occur to foreshadow the misfortune of a character in the novel in the near future. The use...

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