English 200 MP revised

English 200 MP revised - Lau 1 Brian Lau English 200 D...

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Lau 1 Brian Lau English 200 D Andrew McNair 4/27/07 A Search for Meaning The transition between adolescence and adulthood can be considered an important time in one’s life, if not the most important. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “My Kinsman, Major Molineux” Robin is a country-bred young lad who travels to a little metropolis of a New England colony with the dream of attaining social significance in the world through his kinsman, Major Molineux, who is a reputable official. However, Robin discovers that his kinsman is actually ridiculed and ostracized by the community, which becomes an opportunity for Robin to be his own person. "Hawthorne suggests that the process of independence includes severing ties with our benefactors and coming to the realization that, through isolation, one can achieve self-reliance." Similar to the United States, gaining independence requires Robin’s struggles and separation, which conflicts with popular ideas, and values in the 1700’s when a colony depended on its mother country to achieve success. Hawthorne views coming of age as another way to understand the historical event of the United States separating from Great Britain and becoming its own country. Before reaching maturity, one first struggles with delusions and uncertain perceptions due to innocence and ignorance. Perhaps the American colonies in its fledgling state, viewed Great Britain as a source of security and influence, similar to Robin’s expectation of Major Molineux.
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Lau 2 Prior to his journey, Robin’s lack of knowledge of his uncle causes a clouded perception of his uncle. Robin had only met Major Molineux once. He invested his whole future in Major Molineux. In order for Robin to travel to the New England town, he received half of his father’s remaining salary: [Major Molineux] had visited his cousin in a great pomp a year or two before and ‘hinted’ the future establishment of [Robin.] The elder brother was destined to succeed to the farm…it was therefore determined that Robin should profit by his kinsman’s generous intentions, especially as he had seemed to be rather the favorite (1260). This quotation illustrates how Major Molineux represents Great Britain’s tendencies to excessively display their wealth and status, which ultimately drove the Puritans to America in order to live a more modest lifestyle that let them worship their religion without the unnecessary
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ENGL 131 taught by Professor Anderson,donaldl during the Spring '08 term at University of Washington.

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English 200 MP revised - Lau 1 Brian Lau English 200 D...

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