The Minister's Black Veil

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In the movie, Easy A by director Will Gluck and the short story, “The Minister’s Black Veil”, by Nathaniel Hawthorn, both the main characters step outside what is normal to gain something in return, and therefore cause rumors about them to spread. For Olive Penderghast, telling a little white lie to her best friend, Rhiannon Abernathy, ends up being found out by another female, Marianne Bryant, by overhearing the two friends talking. While Minister Hooper, one day decides to start wearing a black veil over his face, that has everyone in the town questioning him and his motives behind the veil. In both cases, rumors are soon spread around about the main characters. A simple rumor can start by just asking a question or simply telling something…show more content…
In Hawthorn’s short story of “The Minister’s Black Veil”, rumors surround Minister Hooper when the minister shows to church wearing a black veil, for unknown reasons, people start making up assumptions as to why he is wearing the veil to the point that he becomes an infamously famous outcast. The mystery behind the veil and what was beneath became the town’s “topic for discussion between acquaintances meeting in the streets, and good women gossiping at their windows” (Hawthorn 393). Everyone in the town of Milford found themselves question the mystery, always wondering and assuming what is hidden underneath or why Mr. Hooper is hiding behind the veil. These rumors continue to grow, and as he continues to wear the black veil the people start to question him, and their image of him starts to change. Not only were the townspeople’s thoughts on Mr. Hooper changed, but also his personal thoughts were affected to the point that “he never willingly passed before a mirror… least, in its peaceful bosom, he should be affrighted by himself” (Hawthorn 395). Mr. Hooper knew that his image is frightening to some and was fearful to find that same image looking back at him. This presence he now has attached to his being lasts for years up to and after his death, where the questions of why he wore the black veil are still asked and follow his…show more content…
In comparison, both Olive Penderghast and Minister Hooper gain their notoriety through rumors and assumptions. Assumptions that are spread around by their peers gaining more speed as they go, to the point that their images seen by others is changed. Kieffer writes that often, “The target of rumors and gossip often represents a threat to the group power structure by having (often unintentionally) violated unconsciously held group norms, or by merely embodying a set of traits or values that threatens the prestige or power of an in-group” (Kieffer). In Easy A Marianne sees Olive as a threat to what she believes in and starts to spread the rumors about her, even telling her “[to Olive] You 've made your bed... I just hope for your sake, you 've cleaned the sheets” (0:10:20 – 0:10:24). In the same way, the town starts to question and fear what the Minister may have done to start wearing the black veil. A rumor that starts as soon as he walks out his door, “a rumor of some unaccountable phenomenon had preceded Mr. Hooper into the meeting-house, and set all the congregation astir” (Hawthorn 390). These two are brought into the light of focus based on decisions made by them and stretched beyond what is true when those around them kept adding on to the rumors. Making people around them question Olive and Mr. Hooper’s morals and who they are as people as time progresses. These two quickly became popular topics to talk about in the community, because of their choices that were thought
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