Symbolism In Hawthorne S My Kinsman Major M Essay

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The Neurosis Of Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Neurosis of Nathaniel Hawthorne The influence of Freud’s theory of the dynamics of human personality extends far beyond the discipline of behavioral science, reaching into areas such as humanities, ...
Symbolism in Hawthorne s My Kinsman, Major Molineux Symbolism is a tool writers use to portray an abstract meaning that lies beyond the literal meaning of a story. This tool often allows the writer to give the story a deeper and more profound message. Nathaniel Hawthorne was a master of symbolism. In his short story My Kinsman, Major Molineux, Hawthorne tells the tale of a young man from the country in search of a relative he hasn t seen in quite some time. In this same tale, one can interpret the story to have an even further meaning. Reading this story, I felt that it symbolized the change in the central character of growing from a boy to a man. The central character in Hawthorne s short story, My Kinsman, Major Molineux is a young lad named Robin. Knowing that Hawthorne relied upon symbolism in his writing, it seems that choosing the name of the main character was hardly arbitrary. A more probable explanation would be that the name Robin, much like the bird of the same name, represents a character that is young, jovial, and somewhat na ve. It is this characteristic of naivete that set up a tale of maturing. This story begins with Robin leaving his home in the country in search of his uncle. To Robin s understanding, his uncle, Major Molineux, was a respected and well-to-do man in the city. Hawthorne gives the impression that the country is a place of innocence and by Robin leaving there to go to the city, he is also leaving his innocence and approaching a life of sin. This goes along well with the theme of growing up. Many view the beginning years of ones life as those of innocence. It is not until you become an adult that life is viewed to be one surrounded by sin, it is an essential characteristic of an adult in Hawthorne s story. In the story s early stages, Hawthorne continues to establish Robin s demeanor of immaturity. Robin seems to be more enthralled by the city than completing the task at hand, finding his uncle, Major Molineux. Robin departed the ferry and then walked forward into the town, with as light a step as if his day s journey had not already exceeded thirty miles, and with as eager an eye, as if he were entering London city, instead of the little metropolis of a New England colony. This description paints the picture of a wide-eyed young man overwhelmed by his surroundings. After the newness of the city wore off, Robin thinks to himself It would have been wise to inquire my way of the ferryman. With this statement we see that Robin s shortsightedness due to his excitement. This is very much similar to the actions of a child in that when a child is awe-stricken, they merely react without thinking about their actions. As Robin starts his search, he runs into many mishaps. Through these adventures, Hawthorne creates a town filled with malice and corruption. All too often, this is the image that is portrayed of what some people like to call the real world. This phrase the real world is used to describe an environment that is unforgiving and shows no compassion. It is commonly thought that when you enter the real world you take your first steps at becoming an adult. During his search, Robin is taking these first steps toward adulthood. At one point, Robin enters a tavern of Nicotian atmosphere filled with ruffians and mariners. Not normally a place for an innocent youth, but Robin felt a sort of brotherhood with these strangers. This is
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