Weekly Reading Response- Hawthorne

Especially important to the themes of hawthornes

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especially important to the themes of Hawthorne’s commentary on the middle-class as a group who uses this- “who must nevertheless define themselves in relation to anomalies, often using creatures or similarly othered beings to incarnate such mixed and irresolvable foundations of being” (Hogle, 6). The introduction states that gothic characters often “were torn between traditional signs of identity… based on social rank and blood lines’” (Hogle, 8) and establishing a new individual identity and connection outside of the familial. This was exactly the case demonstrated in “My Kinsman, Major Molineux.” Our young character Robin from the country with old-fashioned clothes and depreciated currency is a symbol of the old-order, a foreigner to this newly emerging middle-class social structure. He spends the length of the story searching for his kinsman as a connection into this world, to which all respondents either know not of his kinsman or simply have no interest in this connection. Such was the case with the new world order of the middle-class, in an effort to dissociate itself from the extremes of upper and lower class, and efforts to define its own identity (Hogle, 9).
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Christopher Reinemann
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