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My Kinsman, Major Molineux

My Kinsman, Major Molineux

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My Kinsman, Major Molineux

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  1. My Kinsman, Major Molineux By Nathaniel Hawthorne

  2. Nathaniel Hawthorne(1804-1864) • Some classmates at Bowdoin College supplied him with government employment • Later works show some Transcendentalist influence.  1. Belief in individual choice and consequence 2. Emphasis on symbolism

  3. Summary • Introduction to the background of colonial governors. (preface) • Robin, a 18 yr lad went to a city for his kinsman. • Experienced hostility from city people. • Hungry, poor and tired, he waited by the street. • A procession came by, with his kinsman in as a criminal. • He woke up, wondering if it is a dream or real event, at the corner. Thinking of going home. • The gentle man told him to stay “some few days hence.”

  4. Innocent (Childhood) • Robin: Bird of spring, New life, Innocence • At first : confident (think highly of his kinsman) - dwelling (589) - food & drink (590) - reputation (591) good in appearance (588) Proud - civilized (589) - usual shrewdness (591)

  5. -> Maturity (Adulthood) • Entered the city: “Knew not the way” (589) “Grabbing the old man’s coat” (589) • Experienced hostility: refused to answer him • Shame on himself: quiet & natural gait (592) • Loosing innocence: cunning smile (593) aware of the unseen danger (- dame, guardian (593))

  6. -> Maturity (Adulthood) • Dream of past: seek for returning (596) • In the procession (599): Procession (noisy, bright, full of laughter) <-> Robin (quiet, dark, lonely, scared) :Scared of such maturity, growth. Robin laugh: recognizing his own folly. (600) • Robin <-> Gentleman: no going back to innocence. (600) (time to learn independence)

  7. Religion – All man as sinners • River: Styx river • Leader of procession: devil-like, sinner • Crowd: sinners • When Robin laughed with the crowd, he also became one of them, sinners. • Light on opened scripture: God’s presence. • Gentleman’s reply: no going back (undo sin)

  8. Goodman vs. Robin • Character: naïve, has idealized (untrue) view. complete change in one night. loss of innocence. (faith) • Event happened: Blurred (symbolic) experience • Duality of human nature • Result: Robin: understand reality. (Staying in the city and grow) Brown: give up faith. (Died in frustration)

  9. American Dream • Franklin: makes such dream looked easy. 1. Start in daytime. (bright and easy) 2. Friendly city men. 3. Time of gain. (A wife, job, wealthy, reputation, independence, freedom) • Hawthorne: emphasize the harsh world. 1. Starts at night. (darkness of the harsh world) 2. Hostility 3. Time of loss. (innocence -> guilty adulthood)

  10. Works Cited • “Goodman Vs Robin.”Free Essays, Research Papers for Students. 2002. 21 Oct. 2004 <http://www.essays.cc/free_essays/b1/vdj23.shtml>. • Lemmel. “Re: My Kinsman, Major Molineux.” Online posting. 8 Sep. 2003. Sparknotes. 20 Oct. 2004 <http://mb.sparknotes.com/mb. epl?b=53&m=685831&h=molineux,my,major,kinsman >. “The American Dream. Or Nightmare?”Digital Termpapers. 2004. 20 Oct. 2004 <http://www.digitaltermpapers.com/view.php/d/ The_American_Dr.htm>. Thekernel. “Re: My Kinsman, Major Molineux.” Online posting. 20 July 2003. Sparknotes. 20 Oct. 2004 <http://mb.sparknotes.com/mb. epl?b=53&m=659797&h=molineux,my,major,kinsman>.