This edition of Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables aims to meet a growing conviction among teachers of English that pupils of Junior High School age and of the Senior High School Freshman Class are quite mature enough to read fiction constructively and with no lessening of enjoyment.
With a little guidance the pupil delights to find himself no longer passively considering "the story," thinking only of "how it comes out," and unable to continue reading with any interest if by some chance his attention is earlier called to the closing chapter.
But now ranged on the side of the author, from behind the scenes, he discovers the structure of the story, resolves it into its setting (time and place), watches the introduction of characters major and minor, and eagerly follows the incidents which woven together form the plot. He applies his own little test to each incident "Can it be omitted and the story still go on?" separating thus plot incidents from those which merely embellish the plot. The characters become to him real men and women and he shares, for the time being, their lives.
The novel, The House of the Seven Gables, lends itself readily to such constructive reading: Its setting in a primitive period of early New England, the touch of mystery, the little shop with its youthful first customer, the pathetic figure of Clifford, the quaint gentlewoman