Nathaniel Hawthorne's "My Kinsman, Major Molineux": Irrationalism

Essay by diplomatic_7 February 2005

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Nathaniel Hawthorne's "My Kinsman, Major Molineux" is a short story, that represents irony. Irony refers to differences between reality and appearance, or between what a person thinks is true and what is actually true. The symbols of irony in the story show how Robin, the main character discovers in his ocean journey, the reality of his relative, and know the way of dealing with town's citizens.

Nathaniel Hawthorne's "My Kinsman, Major Molineux" is about a young youth of eighteen years old "He was a youth of barely eighteen years"1 who travels from his village towards the town, to search for his Kinsman, Major Molineux. Robin have strong confidence on himself, to find his uncle so meets different people and ask them the way to his house, but they answer him with ignorance and a loud laugher. Finally, he is told to wait by a church, and his relative will pass by, but when he passes Robin was shocked to see him as clown, so he decides to travel back to his village.

Moreover, Robin's feeling of irony towards himself does not effect his confidence, no matter even how sensitive it is, he thinks everything will be fine and the time to achieve his goal will soon come. The first situation of irony is the way of his clothes and simplicity "He was clad in a coarse gray coat"(1223). It also shows the relationship of the boy's innocence and the town, appearance does not have any importance to him, he just give attention and care to have a good soul, treat people in a good manner and dignity "Brown, curly hair, well-shaped features, and bright cheerful eyes, were nature's gifts"(1223).

In fact, a simple person is not used to walk for a long distance, because most village people are poor and...