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Puritan Symbolism In The Minister's Black Veil

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As the sexton rings the church bell to signal the beginning of the Sunday service, townspeople from all over the New England Village of Milford rush to the local meetinghouse. Since it is the 17th century, Puritans are required to attend church and will be subjected to a fine if they receive a certain number of absences. Their belief that God only chooses a few people to save drives them to live holy lives so that they might be among those who receive salvation. Out of motivation for becoming perfect Christians, these Puritans follow simple, strict lifestyles and obsessively scrutinize each other's actions and behaviors for the slightest traces of sin. Since the Puritan society views sin as equal to death, most Puritans keep their darkest imperfections to themselves for fear of going to Hell or dishonoring their religious community.…show more content…
In "The Minister's Black Veil," Nathaniel Hawthorne, an author of the Puritan era, criticizes Puritans for their ignorance concerning the dangers of hidden sins through his symbolism of the black veil and the relationship between a town minister, Mr. Hooper, and his townspeople. The townspeople's reaction to Mr. Hooper's sermon on secret sins, the growing distance between Mr. Hooper and his congregation, and the sacrifices Mr. Hooper makes to become isolated from the world demonstrates that hidden sins act as a physical and mental barrier between
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