Essay on An Obligation to Wear Darkness

Essay on An Obligation to Wear Darkness

Length: 1000 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In Hawthorne’s “The Minister’s Black Veil,” Hawthorne uses gloomy diction and tone to characterize both the apprehension of the people and the affliction of the veil on Mr. Hooper.
Throughout the passage, Hawthorne utilizes fairly simple diction, avoiding long, obscure words. Words like “preternatural” and “impertinence” are among the few words that may cause an average reader some trouble. Consequently, Hawthorne’s writing appeals to and targets the common man as an audience, as he writes with a straightforward choice of words.
Despite his use of simple words, Hawthorne uses long, complex sentences to describe the situation: “By persons who claimed a superiority to popular prejudice, it was reckoned more an eccentric whim, such as often mingles with the sober actions of men otherwise rational, and tinges them all with its own semblance of insanity” (Hawthorne, __). He creates compound and complex sentences by constantly adding more information to a given sentence. Rather than simply declaring that some members of the town think Mr. Hooper has developed an eccentric mannerism, Hawthorne expands it into something more general and universal by making a broad statement about the sometimes odd actions of normally rational men. This literary style, coupled with Hawthorne’s simple language, gives the impression that he intends to teach a lesson to the common man through his writing; his writing is a parable of sorts.
As any storyteller would do, Hawthorne makes declaratory statements about the situation to inform the reader of the context of the situation. He tells how Hooper’s dislike and apparent fear of the veil is common knowledge, along with the tendency of people to either flee or follow him around. At the same time, howeve...

... middle of paper ... as he passed by” (Hawthorne __). Hawthorne’s selection of “worldly” to describe the crowd adds another facet, suggesting that the people may be blinded and limited by their knowledge of the world. Mr. Hooper’s sad smile may be one of pity for the confusion of the less spiritual crowd, who cannot understand what he is doing.
Despite the doubt cast by Hawthorne about why Mr. Hooper wears a veil, it is still apparent that he intends for his story to serve as a parable. Hawthorne focuses on the veil as the source of evil, and uses it to teach a lesson about the unknown. Through his descriptions, he suggests that Mr. Hooper has not changed, save for the black veil he now wears on his face. The addition of a simple black piece of cloth transforms a beloved minister into an object of fear and curiosity in a social commentary on the fear of things unknown and different.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

An Analysis of Paul Laurence Dunbar's We Wear the Mask Essay

- An Analysis of Paul Laurence Dunbar's We Wear the Mask It has been said many time that "You can't judge a book by its cover" and "Don't judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes". A person may appear one way on the outside but may be feeling the total opposite on the inside. He may be masking his true emotions with a false appearance. In "We Wear the Mask" it seems that Paul Laurence Dunbar is conveying this message to his audience. The African-American slaves of the early United States are prime examples of how emotions can be repressed....   [tags: We Wear the Mask Essays]

Free Essays
503 words (1.4 pages)

Analysis Of Conrad 's Heart Of Darkness Essay

- Conrad 's novel, Heart of Darkness, depends on the authentic time of dominion keeping in mind the end goal to depict its hero, Charlie Marlow, and his battle. Marlow 's purgation in the novel, as he goes to the Congo, lays on how he pictures the impacts of government. Marlow is asked by "the organization," the Association, for whom he works, to go to the Congo waterway and report back to them about Mr. Kurtz, a first class officer of theirs. When he sets sail, he doesn 't recognize what 's in store....   [tags: Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, Charles Marlow]

Better Essays
1447 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

- ... The British began to see that the ‘others’ had agency and thus the ability to develop into a society similar to theirs in due time. Imperialism was unnecessary, so long as the British Empire maintained control of the world market. Once Germany, Belgium, and The United States were able to compete with the monopoly the British Empire had created, this forced the British Empire to explore new markets. It was the sudden demand for new foreign markets to adopt Imperialism as a political policy moving forward (Hobson 1)....   [tags: Darkness and imperialism]

Better Essays
1271 words (3.6 pages)

Analysis of We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar Essay

- Analysis of We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar is a renowned piece of literature that has been the subject of various literary criticisms over the years. Because of the poem’s indirectness and generalized ambiguity, the interpretation of the “we” that wears the “mask” and why they do so is left unanimously undisclosed. It is up to the interpreter and the support given by the interpreter to produce a valid representation of the meaning that lies beneath the mask....   [tags: Slavery Racism We Wear the Mask Essays]

Better Essays
1336 words (3.8 pages)

Heart of Darkness as Social Protest Essays

- Heart of Darkness as Social Protest Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, is an intriguing and extremely disturbing portrayal of man's surrender to his carnal nature when all external trappings of "civilization" are removed. This novel excellently portrays the shameful ways in which the Europeans exploited the Africans: physically, socially, economically, and spiritually. Throughout the nineteenth century, Europeans treated their African counterparts savagely. They were beaten, driven from their homes, and enslaved....   [tags: Heart Darkness essays]

Better Essays
999 words (2.9 pages)

A Journey into Darkness in Heart of Darkness Essay

- A Journey into Darkness in Heart of Darkness       Joseph Conrad, in his story, "Heart of Darkness," tells the tale of two mens' realization of the dark and evil side of themselves. Marlow, the "second" narrator of the framed narrative, embarked upon a spiritual adventure on which he witnessed firsthand the wicked potential in everyone.  On his journey into the dark, forbidden Congo, Marlow encountered Kurtz, a "remarkable man" and "universal genius," who had made himself a god in the eyes of the natives over whom he had an imperceptible power.  These two men were, in a sense, images of each other:  Marlow was what Kurtz may have been, and Kurtz was what Marlow may h...   [tags: Heart Darkness essays]

Better Essays
1433 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on The Darkness of Colonialism and Imperialism in Heart of Darkness

- The Light and Dark of Colonialism in Heart of Darkness       In the opening of his novel, Heart of Darkness, Conrad, through Marlow, establishes his thoughts on colonialism. He says that conquerors only use brute force, "nothing to boast of" because it arises, by accident, from another's weakness. Marlow compares his subsequent tale of colonialism with that of the Roman colonization of Northern Europe and the fascination associated with such an endeavor. However, Marlow challenges this viewpoint by painting a heinous picture of the horrors of colonialist ventures as we delve deeper into the recesses of the novel....   [tags: Heart Darkness essays]

Better Essays
1243 words (3.6 pages)

womenhod Gender in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essay

- Gender in Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness colludes with Western patriarchal gender prescriptions. Women are ominously absent from the bulk of the narrative, and when they do make an appearance they are identified through the powerful narrative viewpoint of the character Marlow, who constructs them in terms of the values of the dominant ideologies of the British gentleman. The contrast between Kurtz's Intended and his Mistress reveals to the contemporary reader this undeniable Victorian provenance - women are effectively marginalised from power and silenced by the text's endorsement of British values....   [tags: Heart Darkness essays]

Free Essays
530 words (1.5 pages)

The Major Themes of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essay

- The two major themes of Heart of Darkness are the conflict between “reality” and “darkness,” and the idea of restraint and whether or not it is necessary. Conrad’s passage describing the restraint of the hungry cannibals exemplifies both themes:  It describes how reality shapes human behavior, and contrasts the characters of Kurtz and Marlow.  “Reality,” as it is used here, is defined as “that which is civilized.”        Conrad emphasizes the idea of what is real versus what is “dark,” what is civilized versus what is primitive, what colonizes versus what is colonized, repeatedly throughout Heart of Darkness.  As stated above, “real,” in this case, contains all the implications of a civili...   [tags: Heart Darkness essays]

Better Essays
1290 words (3.7 pages)

The Theme of Darkness in Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essays

- The Theme of Darkness in Conrad's Heart of Darkness Works Cited Not Included It has been said that although Conrad may not have been 'the greatest novelist, he was certainly the greatest artist every to write a novel';. I feel that this is an apt description of Conrad's writing style in Heart of Darkness (1902), as he paints many verbal pictures by using expressive words and many figurative descriptions of places and people. An extensive use of words relating to colour, is evident throughout the novella....   [tags: Heart Darkness Joseph Conrad Essays]

Better Essays
1326 words (3.8 pages)