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Summary — chapter 9: Clifford and Phoebe
Hepzibah concerns realize the she can not be a comfortingpresence to Clifford. Her voice croaks once she reads come him; hefinds the books she chooses uninteresting; and also he cannot also bearto look at she withered, scowling face. For this reason Phoebe i do not care the solesource of joy for the two miserable elders. Miraculously,Phoebe is not lugged down through the pathos and misery that envelopthe house, and she even starts to brighten it up. Phoebe’s is nota mindless happiness, however, and she begins to obtain a womanlywisdom. She sings as she works, and the sound always makes Cliffordhappy, or at least less unhappy. He i do not care “youthful” when he isnear her. His fascinating is no lecherous, however, together it has actually moreto do with his enjoyment the watching she youth and vigor developthan it does with Phoebe’s appearance. She, in turn, is no oneof those people who is fascinated through misery. In fact, she findsthe secret surrounding Clifford frustrating, and also the time she spendswith him is motivated by pity quite than morbid fascination. Inthe shop, too, Phoebe proceeds to be an asset, and most customersprefer she to Hepzibah.
Summary — chapter 10: The Pyncheon-Garden
One the the couple of sources that amusement because that Clifford is thegarden, which, under Phoebe and Holgrave’s soft care, has slowlybeen coming ago to life. Phoebe regularly takes Clifford out right into thegarden, whereby she reads aloud to him. These little excursions withPhoebe always please Clifford, an especially when she reads poetry.In a magnanimous gesture, he decrees that the old chicken be permitted toroam totally free throughout the garden. They frequently can be uncovered clusteredclose to Maule’s Well. Earlier in the summer, Holgrave discoveredsome bean-vine seeds hidden away in a chest the drawers in a garretover one of the seven gables, stored away by a long-deceased Pyncheonancestor. Come see just how long such seed last, Clifford planted them,and currently they have shot up as healthy bean vines laden v brightred blossoms, constantly swarmed through hummingbirds, to Clifford’s greatdelight. The sight of Clifford admiring the hummingbirds and putteringabout his garden v an innocence the is nearly childlike warmsHepzibah’s heart. In ~ the exact same time, however, the vision of together happiness,and the assumed that both she and Clifford have seen so countless yearswasted, provide Hepzibah a slight twinge the sadness.
Hepzibah has started arranging Sunday-afternoon luncheswith Phoebe, Clifford, Holgrave, and also Uncle Venner. Clifford, whose socialinteractions are frequently muted, is surprisingly man at theselunches. The enjoys speaking through Uncle Venner, whose significantly advancedage makes Clifford feel virtually young. Holgrave additionally makes friendlyovertures towards Clifford, yet the narrator notes the “questionable”expression that occasionally appears in the artist’s eye. On onesuch occasion, Uncle Venner mentions that he dreams of eventuallyretiring come the workhouse, which he describes as the “farm,” andClifford insinuates the he has bigger, much more ambitious to plan forUncle Venner. Uncle Venner, however, politely refuses to be partyto any such strategies, saying the he feel no burn desire to heapup property, due to the fact that it seems to take away from what God has actually providedhim with. As the sun begins to set, Clifford’s high soul decline.He mutters to himself, “I want my happiness! . . . Many, many yearshave i waited because that it! it is late!” The narrator expresses pity forClifford, for his past troubles and his half-imbecility, and saysthat Fate hold no pleasure for Clifford unless he can uncover itin his time with Phoebe and also luncheons prefer the one he has just consumed.The narrator advises Clifford to accept this together happiness: “Murmurnot—question not—but do the most of it!”
Analysis — Chapters 9–10
The tableau of relative domestic tranquility that is paintedin this chapters is provided weight by the reality that we check out Phoebenot just surviving but actually growing in her new environment.Until now, the house has actually been portrayed as unfriendly region atbest, but it currently takes ~ above an wait of fertility and nourishment. Phoebe,we space told, is noticeably emerging into a woman, a strange claimwhen one considers that she has gone to the residence for only a matterof weeks, yet one the is emphasize nonetheless. Her emotional maturityis remarkable: she sings sad songs, however without any kind of tragedy or self-pity,and she is an ext annoyed 보다 fascinated through the pathos the surrounds Clifford.Granted, Phoebe landed on the Pyncheon residence with an air of naturalvigor and determination, but in thing 9 theseassets blossom right into something much more grounded and serious. When this makesPhoebe every the an ext admirable, it also casts a zero of doubt onthe melancholy that dyes the novel’s every page. Phoebe’s annoyancewith Clifford’s martyrdom may suggest that not everything in TheHouse that the seven Gables is together predestined as its owners have cometo believe.
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Clifford is also permitted to grow, and as he increase fromhis half-imbecilic state, he flower in a manner that is clearlylinked to the garden he so adores. The p vines are an obviousindicator that this growth, and they additionally come to was standing for the moregeneral revitalization of the residence of the seven gables. Plantedfrom seeds discovered buried in the musty thing of one old Pyncheonancestor, they suggest that something great can come out of thecorruption the the past; the truth that they prosper in the confront of allexpectations the they would fail—Holgrave plants them much more as anexperiment than as a significant attempt in ~ agriculture—inserts somehope right into what has so much been a primarily bleak narrative.While the bean vines thrive, Clifford’s own rejuvenation and also spiritualrebirth are much from complete. It have to be detailed that together he extractshimself native his insanity, he additionally begins to exhibition some much less likablePyncheon traits. His disdain for his sister’s confront is devilish butmay be justifiable given his penchant because that all points beautiful,yet his plans for Uncle Venner’s future it seems to be ~ strangely greedy, asdo his grumblings the he currently wants his happiness. Since Cliffordhas suffered through much, a rather vengeful spirit appears understandable,but few of his comments bear one eerie similarity come avariciousremarks we might have intended to hear from Colonel Pyncheon.