Figurative Language In The Minister's Black Veil

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“He has changed himself into something awful, only by hiding his face” (Hawthorne, 681.) Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “The Minister’s Black Veil”, emerging from the Romanticism literary period tells the story of a young minister who begins to don a black veil that he will not take off until he dies. The author uses an abundance of word play to convey his message, hiding one's face is something that should not be done, and you should stay true to yourself. Norman German’s article, “The Veil of Words in ‘The Minister’s Black Veil’,” makes a variety of examples made aware of to support this idea. Hawthorne uses puns and dissimilar words that are known to be related to build his theme. One of the easiest puns to point out is the word, “prevailing.” The author used words to support his theme, appearances can contradict reality. Hawthorne plays off of the root meanings of words. Examples of…show more content…
The idea is that with the many examples of word play, and repetition, ranging from variations of the word veil, tremble, and hidden, this shows the message of hiding your face in a terrifying way. German also points out the reoccurrence of the Latin root word “vis” This comes from the word “videre,” which means “face,” or “visage.” This root word appears multiple times, “a stranger’s visage would be discovered,” (Hawthorne, 682.) This is a play on the archaic meaning of “discovered,” meaning “uncovered,” or “found.” It is mentioned that none of the townspeople care about the Minister, but only about his veil. “Vis,” also appears in “visitors,” “visit,” and “visible.” “The Minister’s Black Veil,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne may not give a direct message, it may only be a short macabre story at the surface, but at deeper realization a message is revealed. This message is that it is common for people to hide themselves from others and this can be found
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