You Will Go Far, I Fear…

When reading almost anything by Nathaniel Hawthorne it is important to remember the intensity of “wit” he uses in his writing and the overbearing moralizing that drives nearly the entirety of his work. In addition, however complex the symbolism appears, it is likely more far-reaching than one might think – as adroitly illustrated within the short story My Kinsman, Major Molineux.

The symbolism of the narrative works on two very plain levels, the first of which is localized within the protagonist Robin and his transition from blustering and cocksure youth, into a wily and circumspect adult over the brief course of a single night.

Beyond this, however, I can glean a far broader context – specifically, the transition of the United States from a pompous collective of wealthy colonial landowners into the cagey proto-industrialists of Hawthorne`s time.

Be that as it may, I will not explore the latter issue (nor even the depth of what the other characters in the piece represent) as it is the sort of stuff that could launch a thousand Term Papers – and would most certainly tire the ears of my readers, even more than usual.

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