Nathaniel Hawthorne Writing Styles in My Kinsman, Major Molineux

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Irony

The term "irony" refers to a difference between appearance and reality, or between what someone says is true and what is actually true. The narrator in this story is being ironic when he continually refers to Robin as a "shrewd youth." Robin certainly believes himself to be shrewd, and tells the kind gentleman that he has a reputation at home for shrewdness, but the fact remains that Robin is remarkably not perceptive or intuitive. For example, when Robin meets his first town-dweller and asks about his kinsman, the man answers him rudely, and even threatens him. Robin ponders this response for a moment, and then, "being a shrewd youth," he guesses wrongly that the man must be a newcomer who is unacquainted with Molineux. As Robin passes through town he misinterprets everything he sees and hears, and the narrator greets every misinterpretation with an ironic comment about Robin's...

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This section contains 679 words
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Buy the My Kinsman, Major Molineux Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
My Kinsman, Major Molineux from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.