The Symbolism Of Sin In The Minister's Black Veil

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In the short story, "The Minister's Black Veil", American Romanticism characteristics are typical with examples like Mr. Hooper and his black veil or Elizabeth and her curiosity. In addition, Mr. Hooper tries to be nice to everyone in the town but they can't take him seriously because of his black veil. The black veil symbolizes secret sin and the darkness of humanity. It also symbolizes the secret sin that all people carry in their hearts. The lesson learned in the story is to avoid the sin of secret sin because there is always a consequence of our sins or secret faults. The veil can be compared to man’s way of trying to hide the hideous acts of a sin by trying to cover it up with “a fig leaf” as in the case of Adam and Eve. Eventually, the…show more content…
At times when sinners are dying, they still cry for Hooper, refusing to yield in death until he comes to them. When the Reverend Clark asks Father Hooper if he is ready to lift the veil that separates time from eternity, he agrees, with faint words. As the years pass, Hooper’s long life, blameless and above reproach, earns for him a new title—Father Hooper. He outlives many of his parishioners, many of whom are now buried in the graveyard. Father Hooper is dying. Surrounding him are deacons; a zealous young reverend named Clark, who is from a neighboring village; and his nurse, who is none other than Hooper’s own beloved Elizabeth, who has never married. Then the young minister asks to remove the black veil so Hooper’s reputation as a godly man will have no shadow on its memory. Moving his hands from under the blankets and pressing the veil to his face, he says it will never be removed while he is on this earth. The dying minister follows with a sudden surge of energy. He then tells the people encircling his bed that this black veil, which has caused terror in men, women, and children, is not present on his face alone. In horror, Clark questions what unconfessed crime Hooper is taking with him into eternity to face judgment. He sees every face wearing a black veil. With the death rattle in his throat and the black veil on his face, Reverend Hooper smiles that same faint, sad smile. Many years pass, and grass covers his grave and moss covers the stone. Hooper’s corpse is brought to its grave. A dreadful thought remains: his face turned to dust under the black
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