Hey guys, my name is Chris Tully. I'm a sophomore here and I'm planning on going pre-med. Anyway, I just transferred to this class last week. I started out in reading poetry and found pretty quickly that I am terrible at reading poetry so I dropped it and came on over to Narrative and Technology because it fit my schedule, covers the W requirement, and seemed at least a little more interesting to me then reading poetry does.
I think an underlying theme of the book up to the 7th chapter (which is where I think everybody stopped for assignment 1) is antiquity, and people becoming obsolete. To me, it stuck out more than once in this first chunk of the book. I had seen it referenced a few times throughout and one example that I took was the fact that the Judge would look down on Hepzibah for opening the penny shop simply because she carried the Pyncheon name. While he made out pretty well with his life, she was left in the House of the Seven Gables barely able to feed herself. She was stuck in the old traditions of women not providing for themselves and for years kept cooped up in the house. When she finally made the decision that she needed to support herself she was nervous of what the Judge and even her neighbors would think of her opening up a cheap little shop.
Another example of this theme is the house itself. When it was first built it was marveled by the whole town and important government positions from England. While it is still a large house, Hawthorne refers to it in less of an awe-inspiring tone in the chapters following the first. He also describes flaws such as the half-door that was, and is now being used for the penny shop. There was a sentence farther along in the section that I thought summed up what my opinion of Hawthorne's message was. He wrote, "It was evident that the race had been degenerated, like many a noble race besides, in consequence of too strict a watchfulness to keep it pure" (61). Basically I think it means, out with the old in with the new. As the time goes on, even the most prominent business, empires, and families die out, and I think that is pretty evident in many cases throughout history.
How this relates to technology is a stretch for me. My thought is that technology, like the Pyncheon family slowly gets outdated and new, better technology comes along. People nowadays need to advance as technology advances or they get left behind. The best case example of that for me is my grandpa and how horrible it is to try and watch him use a computer. What is now like second nature for most of us, is pretty much a foreign language to those who weren't able to keep with the rapid changes in technology. I believe that this is one correlation of this book to our class.