The House of the Seven Gables is a fictional novel about an estate built during Puritan times, but lasted for centuries, being passed down through the Pyncheon family, whom the house was originally built for. The story of the estate is told in third-person omniscient, meaning the narrator knows the thoughts and intents of all of the characters. The estate was coveted and wanted for many generations by the descendants of the builder of the house, Thomas Maule, a Puritan. His father, Matthew Maule, was executed on charges of wizardry, and rumors about him and what he did during his life lingered for centuries. It was said that the land on which his nephew built the house was cursed and that a well named after him bore dangerous water that was to be neither drunk nor used for any regular activity involving the use of water. The mansion was built on a street in present-day New England. The man Maule built the house for, Colonel Pyncheon, was murdered during the celebration for the completion of the mansion. The house stays in the family for innumerable generations and eventually falls into the possession of a woman named Hepzibah Pyncheon. The mansion, by then, is of little value to other people, so Hepzibah is poor and is cooped up in the house for the majority of her life. She is a kind-hearted woman and allows another man to reside in the house, and she knows him only as Holgrave. He is, to the extent of her knowledge, a quite lawless man, so she never really associates with him or finds out about him. Then one day a relative of hers comes to temporarily live in the mansion, and Hepzibah's simple, quiet lifestyle is suddenly flipped upside down by her innocent, lovely young cousin, Phoebe. Phoebe is a country girl who is kindhearted and sweet. She shows old Hepzibah the joyful side to life on earth and brings, even more, other people to the house who think of each other as family and slowly grow together. Among these new people are Unce Venner, whom not much is said bout in the book, Clifford Pyncheon, who is Hepzibah's brother, and even mysterious Holgrave. Another man by the name of Jaffrey also comes into play, but he is not welcome among the group. A time long ago not often referred to in the story he, being a judge, made a ruling against the Pyncheons residing in the House of the Seven Gables, which was the property the Pyncheons had been living on all this time. There was another estate mentioned in the story. A vast claim of land to the East was either bought or granted to the Pyncheon family during the lifetime of the ancient Colonel Pyncheon, but the deed to the claim was lost for centuries, and the land was claimed by several other farms, families, and companies, for the claim covered an extremely sizable stretch of land. When the judge passes away, there is found no will granting his wealth to his children, so the Pyncheons, Uncle Venner, and Holgrave are given his estate. The first day they move into his old house, they notice an elaborate picture in one of the rooms that, somehow, grabs their attention above anything else. One of them touches the painting, causing it to tumble immediately to the ground. Behind where it used to be mounted is a recess in the wall. Sitting there, in the recess, is a paper covered by centuries of layered dust. At first, it is unrecognizable, but they soon realize that they have just found the long-lost deed. It is now effectively worthless and everyone in the rooms knows this, but now hold everything. Holgrave was the one to cause the painting to fall, but how did he know what was behind it? He answers this question with his next action. He then proposes to Phoebe, asking her to marry him, but in the most clever of imaginable ways. His exact words to her are "My dearest Phoebe, how will it please you to assume the name of Maule?" In saying this, he is revealing that he is one of the long-lost descendants of old Matthew Maule. The Maules have told all of their children about what the nephew of the ancient wizard had done in the building of the judge's house. He had dug out this recess in the wall and hid the deed in it so the Pyncheon family would never gain control over the vast land because the Maule family was given the land in exchange for the mansion, but now the Pyncheons and Maules live on the same estate. This serves as my example of irony in the book. Ownership of land was a heated topic between the two for hundreds of years, but they end up living together, and the two families basically conjoin.