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Unformatted text preview: Lau 1 Brian Lau English 200 D Andrew McNair 4/27/07 A Search for Meaning The transition between adolescence and adulthood is the most important time in one’s life. In addition, it is also said of this transition that those that look outside, only dreams; but those who look inside, awaken. 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 significance in the world through his kinsman, Major Molineux, who is a reputable official. However, Robin discovers the truth about that his kinsman; that he was actually ridiculed and ostracized by the community. Hawthorne suggests that coming of age is represented as an awakening that requires one to detach from one’s family history and name. Reaching adulthood and independence requires this kind of humiliation and separation, which conflicts with the ideas and values at the time when an individual was judged based on their family’s reputations . Hawthorne views coming of age as another way to understand and stimulate the necessary maturing process that is common to everyone becoming an adult. Robin’s lack of knowledge of his uncle caused causes a blurry and 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 from half of his father’s remaining salary. Lau 2 Robin briefly related that his father was a clergyman, settled on a small salary, at a long distance back in the country, and that he and Major Molineux were brothers’ children. [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)....
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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.
- Spring '08