The Black Veil Analysis

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In a small, close-knit community, townspeople often watch one another. Most of the people know each other, and can recognize a neighbor with ease. When one purposely masks their face, they are denying their neighbors the ability to easily know who they are. The townspeople of Milford were shocked when Reverend Mr. Hooper made his way to church one Sunday morning with a black veil shielding most of his face, leaving only his mouth and chin visible. By doing this, Mr. Hooper is denying the townspeople the ability to see his face and forcing them to focus only on what he is saying. As time goes on, the veil forces them to reflect on what it might mean, and what their own veils might be hiding. On the day that Mr. Hooper debuted the black veil, he was to give a Sunday sermon in place of the town’s usual pastor, who had been called away to attend a funeral in his hometown. The topic of Mr. Hooper’s sermon that day was about how people tend to hide their sins from each other, but that God can see even what is concealed. At first, the veil seems relevant, a performance art piece to add drama and dread to the topic of the day’s sermon. But as time…show more content…
No human is safe from the temptation of sin, or the judgement of God. When asked for one final time, as Mr. Hooper lay on his deathbed, why he wore the veil for so long, Mr. Hooper replies that he sees a black veil on everyone’s face. He believes that everyone lives their lives in a state of sin, and that the veil is a vain attempt to hide sins from each other. By physically representing this belief onto his own face, Mr. Hooper became a powerful figure within the community. The veil struck fear into the congregation, with people’s own sins being reflected onto him. Speaking to Mr. Hooper and looking into the black veil felt like confession, as if the veil helped Mr. Hooper see into the souls of sinners, revealing what they hide from their closest
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