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Hawthornes Tales

            Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote numerous stories about people who commit themselves to certain quests. This topic is prominent in several of his works, including "My Kinsman, Major Molineux," "Roger Malvin's Burial," "Young Goodman Brown," and "The Minister's Black Veil." In each story, the protagonist character embarks on a particular quest, and in these stories, the characters are successful to different degrees, with some more successful than others. The success of the characters" quests also depends on from what viewpoint they are observed.
             In "My Kinsman, Major Molineux," the main character, Robin, goes on a quest to meet with his uncle, Major Molineux. Robin's primary purpose was to meet with his kinsman, and perhaps be given the chance at obtaining access to power. Robin's quest contains many stumbling points. He continually searches for his uncle, asking various people if they know of his whereabouts. He is constantly turned down, and sometimes even ridiculed. After many attempts, he is desperate to find answers. So far, his quest to possibly gain power has had no success whatsoever. He has not even found the man he is looking for, which is only the first step in his quest. Without finding Major Molineux, his quest has no purpose. Eventually, Robin realizes that his uncle is a hated man, and is being publicly ridiculed and embarrassed by everyone in the community. Robin finally realizes what the situation is, and joins the crowd in laughter at his uncle. He immediately wants to leave, and return home, but is encouraged by a friend to stay and continue his quest on his own. Robin's original quest was extremely unsuccessful, but it may have created a new quest that is even better. Robin is faced with the challenge to continue on his own, and fend for himself. The gentlemen that Robin met says, " if you continue to wish it [to return home], I will speed you on your journey.

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