Irony In The Minister's Black Veil

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The Story Behind the Veil “The Minister’s Black Veil” is arguably one of the most famous short stories in the history of American Literature. The author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, is an extremely well known writer who is recognized for his many works. From The Scarlet Letter to The House of the Seven Gables, Hawthorne’s exceptional literary skills are portrayed in each and every one of his stories. In his short story, “The Minister’s Black Veil,” Nathaniel Hawthorne uses irony, symbolism, and stereotypical Puritan beliefs and behavior to expose humanity’s hypocrisy in an effort to create change. Irony is an extremely important literary element that Hawthorne uses in “The Minister’s Black Veil.” Throughout the story, many different examples of irony are evident. First off, the…show more content…
However, even with his claims of holiness, he puts on the veil; this is ironic, because the veil symbolizes the opposite of holiness. Also, the Minister shows that he has very limited understanding of true Christianity (Freedman). It is ironic that Parson Hooper tears his face and makes such a big scene about the secret sin we are all hiding. Yes, this sin is bad, and no, we should not hide it. However, true Christianity comes with knowing that we are and never will be perfect, but that God is strong in our weaknesses. Therefore, there is really no reason for the minister to be hiding behind his veil. Another example of irony in “The Minister’s Black Veil” comes with the initial reaction of the people. At first, they look at their own minister and the veil he is wearing in horror (Hawthorne 281). The community then proceeds to treat him as an outcast of society; nobody will talk to him, and everyone avoids him out of fear. However, they continue to talk about him behind his back (Hawthorne 282). They want to know things such as why is he even wearing the veil, what their own minister is trying to hide,
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