In Hawthorne’s story “My Kinsman, Major Molineux,” why is Robin perplexed, and does he figure out what’s going on?

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enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Nathaniel Hawthorne introduces this story with a bit of a prologue, stating how several of the colonial governors of Massachusetts, during “high political excitement” were driven from their office. Robin is described as a country bred youth, on his first trip to town (Boston), there to seek the aid of his kinsman in establishing himself. Thinking his kinsman, who is never named in the story, is held in high regard by the townspeople, he begins his search for him, but meets nothing but derision when inquiring about him. When he sees that his kinsman had been tarred and feathered, Robin decides to disassociate from him; he considers leaving town, but one of his friends suggests that if he remains, he “may rise in the world without the help of your kinsman, Major Molineux.”