'Symbolism In Minister's Black Veil'

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In Hawthorne’s short story, the minister walks out of the rectory one morning with a black veil covering his face. In this story, it is heavily debated what that black veil actually symbolizes. Could it be a symbol of sin and guilt, or is it rather a barrier between the minister and the rest of society? The story takes place in winter at Milford, Connecticut, where it focuses on Parson Hooper, the town’s minister. It is a close knit town where everybody knows each other. As the story progresses, it is seen how people will avoid even the most loved friends and family once there is a mysterious barrier in between them. So, throughout the story, the minister’s black veil symbolizes a variety of things such as: secret sins, a barrier, and even sorrow. First off, I think that Father Hooper’s black veil symbolizes everyone’s secret sins. In the beginning of the story, church begins and Hooper appears concealed by a black veil, and everybody is mystified. He then begins to preach about these secret sins in his sermon. By doing this, Hawthorne shows that this is what the veil …show more content…

In my opinion, it seems throughout the story that Hooper is seldom joyous or happy, and he is always miserable and sorrowful. It is first shown when Elizabeth, his soon to be wife, threatens to abandon Hooper and their marriage if he does not remove the dark, black veil. He practically begged her to stay, but she ultimately refused because he did not remove the veil. Also, going back to the children, it is obvious that Hooper is devastated when he cannot even watch the children romp around. Likewise, Hooper can also not have ordinary conservations with people throughout the town. This completely tears Hooper apart into a point of loneliness and detachment from the world. All of these events together produce the melancholy that Hooper constantly lives in until

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