What are some of the characteristics of Romanticism found in The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne?
One of the key features of Romanticism was a fascination with nature. The Romantics tended to accord the natural world a life of its own: one possessed of a powerful inner vitality. Nature wasn't simply a collection of objects—mountains, trees, rocks, and stones—but a living, breathing force in its own right.
For the most part, Romantics portrayed nature in a positive light, but in The House of the Seven Gables , Hawthorne departs from the norm, giving us a picture of nature that has been degraded by its contact with human civilization. The water, for example, has lost the "deliciousness of its pristine quality" due to the decay of the Pyncheon family home. This rotting old house could be said to symbolize the separation of Colonel Pyncheon from the natural world due to his selfishness and greed....
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