Hawthorne’s 'My Kinsman, Major Molineux'
The Explicator, Vol. 40, No. 1, pp. 19-22, Fall 2001
Posted: 2 Jul 2009 Last revised: 22 Jul 2009
Date Written: June 30, 2009
This essay provides an interpretation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story 'My Kinsman, Major Molineux.' It argues that in this story Hawthorne is presenting a tale of social transformation from the pre-modern to the modern society in the form of the protagonist Robin's experiences on coming from the backwoods to the city. Here Robin sees things he has never seen before and is transformed in terms of his religious attitudes as well as in terms of his simple individual,rural independence. Robin ends up joining the urban mob in its humiliation of the gentleman figure of Major Molineux. The new urban world of the 19th Century is sympathetic neither to rural simplicty nor to gentlemanly dignity.
Keywords: Hawthorne, New England, Modernity, Protestantism, Scripture, Nature, Democracy
JEL Classification: B10, B30, B31, N00, Z10, Z12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation