Romanticism. Hawthorne’s “My Kinsman, Major Molineux” Essay

July 16, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: Jun 15th, 2021


Nathaniel Hawthorne’s literary works are examples of the romantic period in American literature, which started in the early 1800s. One of the most typical traits of romantic literature is the prevalence of emotions, setting the natural world above the created world, and the most important, freedom of an individual. Therefore, most of the main characters of romantic literature are rebels who contrast themselves with the rest of the world. Moreover, the characters in the romantic literature often strive for supernatural or divine powers, paying attention to the purity of their souls and a clear conscience.

Romanticism in Hawthorne’s My Kinsman, Major Molineux

One of the examples of romantic literature is the story by Hawthorne My Kinsman, Major Molineux, with its specific traits, which make it be an excellent example of American romanticism. The main character of the story, Robin, encounters many new aspects of the new life when he travels to Boston, and all of them bring Robin a feeling of danger and strangeness. When the young man arrives at the new environment, he can feel that he is strikingly different from the Bostonians, whose clothes, manners, and behavior contradict Robin’s. Due to his difference from others, Robin is surrounded by social pressure and has to make his own decisions individually.

In spite of being an emotional and passionate young man, Robin tries to avoid conflicts with the locals, either verbal or physical. Robin’s psychological state and the descriptions of the environment around him also refer to the features of the romantic literature. The description of the scenes, where the author emphasizes the presence of dim light, the dreamlike atmosphere, the mention of the weapons of the knights, and kings from the Middle Ages add to romantic elements of this story.


To conclude, all the features such as the desire for personal freedom, the backgrounds, and the inner conflicts of the main character prove that this story belongs to the romantic period of American Literature. Moreover, Robin’s rebellion against the rest of the world makes him a representative of the romantic character. Although the inner contradictions complicate the life of the main character, he has the strength to endure everything, which makes him a typical romantic character.

This essay on Romanticism. Hawthorne’s “My Kinsman, Major Molineux” was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.

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