The Minister's Black Veil Vs. Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

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In both Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “The Minister’s Black Veil” and the excerpt from “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” by Jonathan Edwards, the topic of sin is prevalent. Despite this commonality, Hawthorne and Edwards have different approaches towards this idea. The writing styles of both authors are reflective of the time periods in which they were born. Hawthorne was born in the early 19th century and much of his work was dedicated to displaying the issues of the Puritan values. In contrast, Edwards was born in the early 18th century and his work contained and supported many Puritan values. “The Minister’s Black Veil” and “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” share the common theme that all people are sinners, however, Hawthorne …show more content…

Hawthorne depicts a community that hides its sins and ostracizes those who display them. On Parson Hooper’s deathbed he finally resolves the mystery of the black veil. He states, “I look around me, and lo! On every visage a black veil!” (Hawthorne 9) He explains that it is not he who is hiding his sins with a “black veil” but rather everyone else hiding from the fact that they have sins. He further explains that it is normal to have sins and those who hide them are who should be …show more content…

Rather, they need to accept them in order to be forgiven. Hooper exclaims “If I cover it for secret sin, what mortal might not do the same?” (7) Hawthorne attempts to illustrate the flaw in Puritan values and how, if instead of rebuking those who sin, Puritans would accept them, then others would learn not to hide their own sins. The Puritan’s have a contrasting attitude towards sinners. In “Sinners in the hands of an Angry God” Edwards writes that “The bow of God’s wrath is bent” and “His wrath towards you burns like a fire” to express God’s hatred towards his people. Dissimilar to Hawthorne, Edwards aims to display that the normality of sins is not significant and everyone who sins deserves to be punished. Edwards attempts to show that all of God’s people are sinners and he hates them for it. However, God still keeps them alive and as long as they are alive they must be ashamed of their

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