Setting in Hawthornes “My Kinsman,

The various places he stops represent certain alternative futures, and the brothel promises one of pleasure. His ability to resist it — whether through morality or lack of money — and continue on his journey is indicative of the revolutionary spirit. The fact that he keeps moving, and keeps searching in new places, matched the movement of the revolution and indeed of the country since then as it goes through its great democratic experiment.

Hawthornes story is very enjoyable just as a piece of fiction. It is also an interesting historical piece, describing the feel of life in pre-Revolutionary America and the different opinions at various levels of society.

These things are brought out in the setting perhaps more than in any other single element of the story. Time and place are incredibly essential to this story; the story is, in fact, about the changing political setting of the American Revolution and the years preceding it. Hawthorne is a master of storytelling not because of the subject matter of his stories, but because of the ways he describes the settings. Though he employs other literary elements with equal alacrity, his use of setting is of paramount importance in “My Kinsman,.


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