Allegory In The Minister's Black Veil

1436 Words6 Pages
In the parable "The Minister 's Black Veil,” Nathaniel Hawthorne aims to expose the deceitful pretense that members of society base their lives on. Hawthorne discloses the way people hastily judge one another based on looks, appearances, and behavior. He unveils the hypocrisy of society and the way it alienates whoever defy the norms or risk to uncover the covert. He reveals the moral of his allegory in a very ambiguous way through Reverend Hooper belief that everyone has a secret sin that he keeps to himself hidden from others, but certainly not from God. He uses The Black Veil on Reverend Hooper’s face as an emblem to provide evidence to support the notion that all humans are sinners in disguise. Reverend Hooper’s veil symbolizes the wall…show more content…
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
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