Alienation In The Minister's Black Veil

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“‘On every visage a Black Veil!’” (Hawthorne 188). The majority of people prefers to keep their secrets hidden from others, but they do not mind passing judgment onto someone else. Writers often highlight the values of a society or community by using characters who are alienated because of gender, race, or creed. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Minister’s Black Veil,” Reverend Hooper is subjugated to alienation from his community because of the black veil that covers their minister’s face. In fact, some are more concerned with this piece of fabric that covers his face, than his religious teachings. In “The Minister’s Black Veil,” Hawthorne uses Reverend Hooper’s sacrificial alienation from his Puritan community’s obsession with and unnecessary…show more content…
“But there was the sentiment of the discourse itself, or in the imagination of the auditors, which made it [Hooper’s sermon] greatly the most powerful effort that they had ever heard…A subtle power was breathed into his words…” (Hawthorne 177). The veil forced the people focus on the message of his sermon, but they were so quaked by the presence of the veil that they felt Hooper had somehow discovered their hidden wickedness. Some members of the congregation identified with Hooper because they shared in his message of secret sin, but most were frightened by the veil and trembled at the minister’s voice. Although people feared the veil, the emblem gave Hooper a power over souls afflicted with sin. “Dying sinners cried aloud for Mr. Hooper, and would not yield their breath till he appeared…” (Hawthorne 185). McFarland establishes that because the veil made Hooper an effective minister, “The community, then, does find use for the anomalous citizen.” “...though ever, as he stooped to whisper consolation, they shuddered at the veiled face so close to their own” (Hawthorne 185). However, even when death was knocking on someone’s door, they could not fully justify his consolation because he still wore the
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