Phoebe is put into this novel as a breath of fresh air. She is young and jovial. Phoebe comes into the Pyncheon house aware of the curse but not worried about it. She is, in Hawthorne’s eyes, perceived as the perfect woman. She's beautiful, talented, and sedulous. Hawthorne describes her as, "the example of feminine grace and availability combined." She doesn't fret about all the other things women usually do, like housework. She's willing to work with a smile on her face and no complaints.
This not only puts her as Hawthorne’s perfect woman, but also as the ideal American woman. She is part of the new revolution of women who aren't only housewives, yet are out in society to make a name for themselves. Hepzibah’s beliefs differed, by her feeling that women were, “the shadowy food of aristocratic reminiscences.” Also, she attends church every Sunday and believes in the power of the law. She is not old fashioned and definitely doesn’t believe in aristocratic principles like Hepzibah.
Phoebe is Alice in another form, in a way. She basically replays Alice’s life with Matthew Maule. Just as Maule hypnotizes Alice, Holgrave puts Phoebe in his own type of “trance” in chapter 13 when he is telling her his story but ends up letting her go. By the two of them ending up together, the Maule curse on the family will inevitably be uplifted. She’s put in the novel to show that the sins of ones forefathers can affect later generations, but sometimes those generations can change their luck for the better.
That shining, colorful light through the beautiful stained-glass window of a church adds to its atmosphere a sense of beauty and hope. Phoebe adds beauty with her charming looks and personality, along with the hope to break the curse of the Pyncheon family. She is the ideal woman and lives her life to fullest. Phoebe played a much larger role in this novel other than a just a cousin to Hepzibah and Clifford. Her purpose was undeniably portrayed as best as it could...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document