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

Colin D. Pearce

Clemson University - College of Business and Behavioral Science

Date Written: June 30, 2009

Abstract

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

Pearce, Colin D., Hawthorne’s 'My Kinsman, Major Molineux' (June 30, 2009). The Explicator, Vol. 40, No. 1, pp. 19-22, Fall 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1427895

Colin D. Pearce (Contact Author)

Clemson University - College of Business and Behavioral Science ( email )

Clemson, SC 29631
United States

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