The Minister’s Black Veil is a story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It tells the story of a minister named Parson Hooper. He shows up to church on the Sabbath with a black veil covering his eyes. The townspeople begin to spread rumors about Mr. Hooper. They assume he is wearing the black veil due to sorrow or a secret sin. Hooper tells his girlfriend that the veil is for neither of those reasons; the veil must never come off, not even for her. Hooper continues to do what he always does, such as: preach sermons, greet the children, and chat with the neighbors. The veil gets Hooper some weird looks and the people that once adored him, now avoid him. The only thing seen under the veil is a sad smile that creeps its way in.
The people understood Hooper’s veil as a sort of concealing a secret sin, or an act of pure insanity and therefore shunned away from him. “In this manner Mr. Hooper spent a long life, irreproachable in outward act, yet shrouded in dismal suspicions: kind and loving though unloved and dimly feared; a man apart from men, shunned in their health and joy” (11). The shallow analysis of the town people of the true representation of Hooper’s veil, led to the creation of a fence between Mr. Hooper and his congregation instead of dismantling the fake façade that separate people’s inner souls from the apparent personalities. Perhaps Mr. Hooper underestimated the fear of admitting sin among people; therefore, instead of evoking people to acknowledge that everyone hides a secret sin behind a “veil” of pretenses, believes, and behavior, Hooper was himself accused of hiding a sin as Elizabeth declared, “… there may be whispers that you hide your face under the consciousness of secret sin” (8). The writing style of Hawthorne is unclear whether Hooper intended to show that each person lives in a state of sin to start with, or whether he simply wanted to make a point that Sunday morning to go along with the topic of his sermon. Instead, the people negative reaction to his appearance got him to hold on to the veil
How willing are you to give up your whole life and reputation to help others by proving a point? In “The Minister 's Black Veil” Nathaniel Hawthorne writes about a minister named Mr. Hooper who changes his whole life to try to show the people in his congregation that they are living in sin and need to change their ways. The author Nathaniel Hawthorne was born around the time when Puritan life was the norm and everyone was a Puritan. Hawthorne also admired his ancestor’s ways and their lifestyles as much as he felt the need for people to have the freedom to strongly disagree about something (Grant). Grant says, “ It is this rich combination of his ancestral soil, a strong sense of the richness of the American past, and that moral quality” which
People are constantly being judged by others on anything and everything people find strange. If you look different from everyone else they will begin to judge you. In the story “The Minister’s Black Veil” the people in the village started to judge Mr.Hooper because of the veil. They all wanted to know why their minister suddenly began to wear a black veil hiding his face from them. He no longer fit in with the people in the village and he didn’t meet their expectations of what a minister should be like so they started saying things about Mr.Hooper. At the beginning of the story when they were in the church and Mr.Hooper began wearing the veil a person
Puritan belief lends itself to the idea that outward appearance is often an indicator of inward holiness. Unfortunately, that belief leads to this reaction towards Mr. Hooper whenever he wears a plain, black veil: "'I can't really feel as if good Mr. Hooper's face was behind that piece of crape'… 'I don't like it'… 'He has changed himself into something awful, only by hiding his face.' … 'Our parson has gone mad!' ("The Minister's Black Veil" 410). Mr. Hooper's audience even begins to distrust him, leading one to say "'I would not be alone with him for the world,'" ("The Minister's Black Veil" 411-2). Although Mr. Hooper remains unchanged for the most part, the black veil changes his appearance and the townsfolk's opinion of him. This superficiality, Hawthorne insinuates, should not be characteristic of Puritan communities. One common interpretation of Mr. Hooper's veil is that it represents the secret sin everyone bears. However, given Mr. Hooper's treatment, one would be surprised to learn that everyone is cognizant of that fact. The town is made uncomfortable by Mr. Hooper's sermon on secret sin, and so they ostracize him ("The Minister's Black Veil" 411). Even on his deathbed, people plea for him to take off the veil, and instead he cries "'Why do you temble at me alone?'…'Tremble also at each other!'...'I look around me, and lo! On every visage a black veil!'"(417-8). Hawthorne highlights the hypocrisy of Puritans with Mr. Hooper's ostracization. A Puritan is a hypocrite if they should cruelly treat someone because of appearance or sin as both of these are considered unimportant and unavoidable, respectively, in Puritan
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Minister’s Black Veil”, we are presented with Reverend Parson Hooper, an admirable Puritan preacher who decides to start wearing a black veil. Mr. Hooper’s decision to cover his face almost entirely, except for the mouth and chin with that “mysterious emblem” (#) agitated the town of Milford. It incited gossip within the community about him and the reason why he chose to wear the black veil in the first place, which the townspeople thought represented the Reverend’s sins. This gossiping and the rumors that the people created could be considered a way of hypocrisy, due to the fact that they are judging someone else’s sins rather than acknowledging their own sins, which is the message that Mr. Hooper is trying to
People from other places wanting to see him just to see the “minister with the black veil”. Many other dying sinners were always welcoming him to preach all their sins to him before they left their dying beds. “In this manner, Mr.Hooper spent a long life, irreproachable in outward act, yet shrouded in dismal suspicions; kind and loving, though unloved, and dimly feared; a man apart from men, shunned in their health and joy, but ever summoned to their aid of mortal anguish.” (14, Hawthorne) Eventually, all those stares and reactions towards his black veil made his life miserable and everywhere he sees himself in the glass mirror Mr.Hooper is unable to see himself again like he uses to do before. Among his death bed, his beloved Elizabeth came to take care of him and Reverend Mr.Clark to seek him into conclusion and to help him leave those sins so much he had attached himself to liberate him to the spiritual light. Mr.Hooper new that throughout his life of trying to get many people to understand why he did such thing like of the black veil. They would never understand why so and/or overpass through the negative reactions of the people towards him for wearing the
“Thus from beneath the black veil, there rolled a cloud into the sunshine, an ambiguity of sin or sorrow, which enveloped the poor minister, so that love or sympathy could never reach him.” (Hawthorne). In the Minister’s Black Veil, Nathaniel Hawthorne evokes the idea there is a dark side of humanity and that humans have secrets and sins hidden away from their nearest and dearest. In the parable, Hawthorne emphasizes the idea of personal sacrifices must be made during one’s lifetime for those you love even if it meant giving up one’s source of happiness. In Milford, a small Puritan town men, women, and children are fancying another Sunday. The peace is interrupted on the Sabbath day when Reverend Hooper, Minister of the Puritan Community appears
“ We magnify the flaws in others that we secretly see in ourselves” -Baylor Barbee. In “ The Minister’s Black Veil” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the main character Reverend Hooper is alienated by his community because he is the wearer of a mysterious black veil. Reverend Hooper is the reverend of his community’s church and has always been well respected by his surrounding peers. One day, Hooper shows up to his church and preaches the sermon wearing a mysterious black veil causing his peers to alienate him. Throughout the story, Hooper’s actions portray just how judgmental our society really is. In the “Minister’s Black Veil”, Hawthorne displays Hooper and the symbol of the veil as a representation of how judgmental society can become when faced with situations they don’t understand even though they have no right to judge.
In the Minister’s Black Veil, the black veil has a great significance to the story. The black veil symbolizes the secret sin in society. The sins of humanity are the greatest sin which society hides and ignores. People do not take account of the bad deeds that are going on every single day. This Parable does an outstanding job of doing that because Mr. Hooper goes on with his day normally, but by having that veil on his face it exemplifies that sin is occurring. The three levels in this parable of understanding the symbolism are to first understand what the author is objectifying the most in the parable. And in this case, it is a black piece of clothing that is covering his face. When an author keeps on repeating the same thing over and over again, it has to symbolize something. Secondly, the black veil got in the way of people. Such as, his soon to be wife. Just because he didn’t show his bare face to Elizabeth, she ended their relationship. “...material emblem had separated him from happiness, though the horrors, which it shadowed forth, must be drawn darkly between the fondest of lovers.” (Hawthorne 12) Hooper is thinking about what he has done but still doesn’t do anything about it because the black veil signified something more important to him. “Each character, then, is faced with the prospect of assuming mature responsibilities, and each story is an account of how he responds to this crucial psychological situation.” (Askew 2)
The main character in “The Minister’s Black Veil”, Mr. Hooper represents how everyone carries a sin with them but some choose to acknowledge it, while others choose to hide them.
Mr. Hooper wears the black veil to signify he is wearing the sins of the puritans in the village. Mr. Hooper is a reverend, making one of his roles to listen to the puritans sins. In article two it states; "Mr. Hooper wears the veil to symbolize his mourning for the secret sins of many of the Puritans who fear the severe punishments for transgressions and live as hypocrites becomes apparent in the denouement of Hawthorne's story" clearly stating that he wears this black veil to symbolize the sins of the puritans rather than himself. Mr. Hooper wishes to teach a moral
When the minister walks into the church with a black veil flowing in front of his face the congregation is immediately uncomfortable. The veil represents the sins of humans. As soon as the congregation sees him they begin to question him. Some of the congregation members deal with this representation of guilt by getting angry with the minister and ordering him to take it off. Other members decide to ignore the minister and go out of their way to avoid him. They do this because the veil reminds them of their own guilt. The minister keeps the veil on his face for the duration of his life. While he is dying, the people around him want to take the veil off of him. The minister rejects this idea and is buried with the veil on his face. Once he has died, the people around him feel guilty because they wanted to take the veil off of him instead of leaving the minister alone. The guilt that is shown by Hawthorne in this story, is displayed more effectively in “The
In The Minister’s Black Veil, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, tells a story about Reverend Hooper, he lives in a small town in New England, called Milford. One Sabbath morning, Reverend Hooper chooses to give a sermon while wearing a black veil. Rumors instantly started to go around among his Puritan audience about reasons for him for wearing the veil. The story is developed around a specific symbol which, in this case, was the black veil that the Reverend wears to cover his face from the world. The Minister's Black Veil shows the mindset that Puritans had toward human nature in a way that shows it is loaded with pessimism. He saw the worst in human nature and chose to believe that the worst will happen, he had a lack of hope or confidence in human
Some people dress in light and airy clothes and are often perceived as open people, willing to share their thoughts and feelings. Other people dress in dark and heavy clothes, and these people are mostly seen a closed-off and introverted. Nither one of these styles define who those people truly are. Mr. Hooper certainly dressed for himself, “If I hide my face for sorrow, there is cause enough” (Hawthorne 7). He didn’t care what others thought about him. If he wants to hide his face because he is sad or upset, then he will. However, in this case, he was judged on his appearance. Hooper feels that everyone has a ‘veil’ about them, his was not only figurative, but also