Minister's Black Veil Symbolism

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Nathaniel Hawthorne delves deep into the morals of human sin during the short story, “The Minister’s Black Veil”. Hawthorne utilizes symbolism that helps to represent romantic views and ideologies in writing. These symbols such as the veil, the village physician, and the conflict created by Elizabeth convey morals relating to the archetypical theme; where the opinion of the atypical differs between contrasting characters. For the duration of the story the minister has a black veil that is cast over his face. This black veil is arguably the most apparent symbol in the story. This black veil is meant to represent the sin that all humans realize they have committed at some time. The atypical theme that is presented creates irony since everybody …show more content…

She is distracted by the veil because she also feels that it is casting onto his full figure and physique. The main symbolic meaning to Elizabeth is the ignorant people who could not understand nor did they try to find the meaning of the veil. Elizabeth creates the conflict that makes the minister lonely since Elizabeth was one person he thought he could trust. She thinks that her fiancé has gone crazy, “‘What previous affliction hath befallen you’, she earnestly inquired, ‘that you should thus darken your eyes forever?’” (Hawthorne). In this case she has no intentions of trying to figure out any other conclusion other than that he has gone mad. This symbolically represents that she realizes what the veil represents but still doesn’t want to admit to her own sins that she has committed. This is similar to the other members of the congregation except that it is more extreme because the minister thought it was one of the only people who could understand his intentions. This relates to the atypical theme where the protagonist is in alienation and isolation. This understandingly cases the character to go into grief. Overall, Elizabeth created conflicted that escalated the plot and made the minister more lonely. Consequently, the symbols in the Minister’s Black Veil help to convey the archetypical theme that the protagonist is

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