Home > Catalogue > Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie occidentale > 56 | 2022 > From Aeneas to the Shaman: My Kinsman, Major Molineux and the Descent into the Underworld of the American Dream
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From Aeneas to the Shaman: My Kinsman, Major Molineux and the Descent into the Underworld of the American Dream

Enrico Botta    Università degli Studi di Verona, Italia    

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abstract

The article focuses on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story My Kinsman, Major Molineux (1832) and aims at demonstrating how the journey undertaken by his young character Robin constitutes a re-elaboration of the classic theme of the catabasis within the mid-nineteenth century American cultural context. Robin, the protagonist of a tale on the foundation of the United States, is engaged in an epic quest which drives him into the underworld of a society where the values of freedom, equality, and happiness are inter-mingled with corruption, violence and wicked patriotism. At the end of his adventure, Hawthorne’s hero joins a violent masquerade that seems to anticipate the ‘patriots’ attack on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021.

Published
Aug. 31, 2022
Accepted
April 29, 2022
Submitted
Feb. 15, 2022
Language
IT

Keywords: US Capitol RiotNational foundationAmerican epic literatureCatabasisNathaniel Hawthorne

Copyright: © 2022 Enrico Botta. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.