Symbols In The Minister's Black Veil

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Symbolism portrays many different meanings. With sin there are consequences. Particularly in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “The Minister’s Black Veil” the author uses the black veil to symbolize the sins of Mr. Hooper and to portray the theme of man’s determination to keep his own sin a secret. Mr. Hooper, unlike any other man in society, goes against human nature and openly shows that he has committed sins. Mr. Hooper, by wearing the black veil, suggests that his sin is not a secret, however “The subject had reference to secret sin and those sad mysteries which we hide from our nearest and dearest” (Hawthorne). Everyone commits sin, and some are more open about it than others. Mr. Hooper goes against society by showing that he has sins, not that he has…show more content…
Hooper’s black veil and are hypocritical by gossiping about and judging his sin, even though they have committed their own. They also only cry to him whenever they are in need, but ignore him when they are happy as can be. In Hawthorne’s words, "that a simple black veil, such as any woman might wear on her bonnet, should become such a terrible thing on Mr. Hooper's face" (Hawthorne). The townspeople will not make direct eye contact and kids are running away in fear because they think Mr. Hooper has done something awful, but in reality he is just admitting that he has committed sins. A woman can wear a black veil on her bonnet and the townspeople would not think anything of it. The townspeople act like charlatans towards Mr. Hooper in this way: “Dying sinners cried aloud for Mr. Hooper, and would not yield their breath till he appeared; though ever, as he stopped to whisper consolation, they shuddered at the veiled face so near their own” (Hawthorne). The dying sinners only call to Mr. Hooper when they are in need, so in a way they are just using him. Furthermore, the townspeople are burying their sins deeper within them by gossiping and being hypocritical about Mr. Hooper’s
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