The House of the Seven Gables

by

Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Uncle Jaffrey Pyncheon Character Analysis

Jaffrey is Clifford and Hepzibah’s eccentric, melancholy uncle. He has an interest in the Pyncheon family history, and his research leads him to determine that Matthew Maule’s property was wrongfully taken and that perhaps the House of the Seven Gables (which is built on the land that Colonel Pyncheon took from Maule) should be given up for this reason. Soon after this, Jaffrey is found dead, and Clifford takes the blame for it, leading to decades of imprisonment. Later, it comes out that Jaffrey’s other nephew, Judge Pyncheon, was the one truly connected to his death.

Uncle Jaffrey Pyncheon Quotes in The House of the Seven Gables

The The House of the Seven Gables quotes below are all either spoken by Uncle Jaffrey Pyncheon or refer to Uncle Jaffrey Pyncheon. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Wrongdoing, Guilt, and Retribution Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Thrift Editions edition of The House of the Seven Gables published in 1999.
Chapter 15 Quotes

Men of strong minds, great force of character, and a hard texture of the sensibilities are very capable of falling into mistakes of this kind. They are ordinarily men to whom forms are of paramount importance. Their field of action lies among the external phenomena of life. They possess vast ability in grasping, and arranging, and appropriating to themselves the big, heavy, solid unrealities, such as gold, landed estate, offices of trust and emolument, and public honors. With these materials, and with deeds of goodly aspect, done in the public eye, an individual of this class builds up, as it were, a tall and stately edifice, which, in the view of other people, and ultimately in his own view, is no other than the man's character, or the man himself. Behold, therefore, a palace!

Page Number: 159
Explanation and Analysis:
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Uncle Jaffrey Pyncheon Character Timeline in The House of the Seven Gables

The timeline below shows where the character Uncle Jaffrey Pyncheon appears in The House of the Seven Gables. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: The Old Pyncheon Family
Wealth, Power, and Status Theme Icon
...the cousin’s sister who lives in seclusion in the House of the Seven Gables, Uncle Jaffrey having granted her a life estate. She is very poor but refuses the Judge’s monetary... (full context)
Chapter 15: The Scowl and Smile
Wrongdoing, Guilt, and Retribution Theme Icon
Wealth, Power, and Status Theme Icon
Horror and Innocence Theme Icon
...his freedom. He explains that he believes Clifford knows how the vast majority of Uncle Jaffrey’s fortune can be recovered. He must speak to Clifford in order to find out. (full context)
Wrongdoing, Guilt, and Retribution Theme Icon
Wealth, Power, and Status Theme Icon
Hepzibah mocks such an idea, but the Judge insists that before Jaffrey’s death, Clifford taunted him with the claim of secret knowledge of great wealth. He has... (full context)
Chapter 20: The Flower of Eden
Wrongdoing, Guilt, and Retribution Theme Icon
Horror and Innocence Theme Icon
...Maule knew of this when he pronounced his curse). This death looks very similar to Jaffrey Pyncheon’s death 30 years ago.  (full context)
Chapter 21: The Departure
Wrongdoing, Guilt, and Retribution Theme Icon
...that his death appears to have been natural. Rumors still persist—rumors tracing back to Uncle Jaffrey’s death 30 years ago. Somehow, a rumor begins to circulate that Clifford wasn’t responsible after... (full context)
Wrongdoing, Guilt, and Retribution Theme Icon
Wealth, Power, and Status Theme Icon
Horror and Innocence Theme Icon
...of lowly character. One night, the future Judge had searched his uncle’s papers. When Uncle Jaffrey stumbled upon his nephew in the act, he suffered a hereditary attack, fell, and struck... (full context)