Analysis Of Minister's Black Veil By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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In the “Minister's Black Veil” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hawthorne looks to convey the wrongs of the Puritan faith through a character in his story. Hawthorne effectively does this through his use of Mr. Hooper, a man who embodies all of the Puritan faith and a man who would be admired by many of his religion. Hawthorne uses both Mr. Hooper and the veil Hooper wears to portray and criticize the issues of sin and morality within the Puritan faith.
Before diving in to all that Hawthorne exposes of the Puritan faith, historical context is vital to understanding Hawthorne’s purpose of writing his story. Nathaniel Hawthorne comes from a largely Puritan family ventured across in literature, most notably in the novel based on a true story, “The Crucible”
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With this setting, Hawthorne uses a character as a pawn in order to express his ideal of what is wrong with the Puritan faith, this character being Mr. Hooper. Hawthorne implies, through his depiction of Hooper’s beliefs and actions, that all humans are sinful and how all try to hide their sinfulness from one another because of how afraid mankind is to be singled out as evil, and viewed upon negatively by God. Mr. Hooper, the minister of the town’s church, is a man who would have been an ideal Puritan in their own terms. He was “self disciplined” (Hawthorne 1), a man of God, and someone envied by all. But Mr. Hooper was his own faith’s worst nightmare, a man full of sin. Throughout the story, Mr. Hooper is covered by a black veil which masks his face. He continuously prevents anyone from seeing his face or persuading him to take it off. Through the use of the veil, Hawthorne paints a picture which shows how sin ruled over the Puritan communities and controlled each person among them. The veil itself becomes the center of attention for all members of Hooper’s Puritan congregation. The entire population of the town become scared of Hooper and believe that this man who was so high among their values, now has a horrid sinful past that he is trying to hide. His constant preachings of how people must deal with their sin, instill a fear in the people only caused by God before. Hooper ultimately takes his masked face to his deathbed. As the years go on and Hooper becomes more of a recluse among his community, his death finally approaches. On the brink of death, he expresses to his community his continued message on how they all are the same as him since they all hide sin behind their face. “There is an hour to come,” said Hooper, “when all of us shall cast aside our veils. Take it not amiss, beloved friend, if I wear this piece of
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