What is My Kingsman, Major Molineux about?

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The main character is an 18 year old boy named Robin who wants to go make his fortune. He is searching out a relative, Major Molineux, in Boston, to help him earn money. He is from the country and has come to the big city. He stops at an inn and inquires about his relative, but he is met with rudeness from those he speaks to. Some people even threaten him. He also sees a scary looking man. He leaves the inn to try to find his relative elsewhere, only to run in to the scary looking man again in front of a church. The man tells him to wait in front of the church and he will see his kinsmen. While he waits, he begins a conversation with the first nice person he has come across and he shares his hopes of finding fortune with the help of his kinsmen. A large group of people comes down the street carrying torches and leading their governor, who they have tarred and feathered. Robin recognizes the man as his kinsman and laughs. The group of angry people continue on and the kind man suggests that Robin stay in Boston and try to make his fortune on his own.

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This is one of Hawthorne's early stories (and perhaps not one of his favorites) and is a coming-of-age and quest story. The quest the hero is on is the search for his second-cousin who promised long ago to help him get established in the world. The coming-of-age element is that he learns that he must either return home of learn to make his own in the world based on his own mind and abilities. He discovers this when he sees his second-cousin being driven through town in disgrace and a kindly and wise guide (everyone needs the help of a kindly and wise guide) advises him to try to see what he can accomplish on his own natural talents and abilities.

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