The Minister's Black Veil and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Essay

The Minister's Black Veil and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Essay

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Comparing Two Works of Literature
“The Minister’s Black Veil” and “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” are two stories that have had the most impact on me from our assigned readings. Interestingly, both of these stories were written around the mid 1850’s. The former reading focuses on our sin and the latter on the issue of slavery. Both sin and slavery seem to be two concerns that had once corrupted this country. Some people could argue that it is continuing to do so. In my opinion, prejudice, discrimination, and sin are still occurring in the United States. People are not always treated fairly, the Have Not’s, and those who are, the Haves, tend to be sinful as shown though their actions of what best interests them. Through analyzing these plays, I plan on providing evidence that, despite over a hundred years, people are still sinful and susceptible of being slaves.
In the former work, many readers, to include myself, have concluded the black veil represents sin. The protagonist, Reverend Hooper, wears the veil over his face in order to show the townspeople how revolting sin can be. The townspeople speculate to why the reverend wears such a garment but never truly understand his intentions. I believe the misunderstanding is symbolic to how people react to sin nowadays. People have trouble understanding why they occasionally sin. They sometimes also have trouble recognizing sin even if it is their own. These two flaws are symbolic of the reverend veil because people have trouble understanding it and that it represents sin.
The latter work exposed what is was like to be a “slave girl.” Before this work came out no one really knew how these women were treated. The author, Harriet Ann Jacobs, pointed out that thes...


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... at the forefront of her mind she would have perished.
Both of these stories have tremendously impacted my life. To start I am a person of color and to some extent I can somewhat understand what many African American’s went through during the 1850’s. Another reason for why these stories have had an impact on me is because I have made a few mistakes in my past, i.e. I have sinned. I like the former story because I admire the Reverend’s passion for him being open about his sin. In the story he go so far as to additionally “wear” the sin of all the townspeople. In closing, prejudice, discrimination, and sin are still happening in our country. Through analyzing these plays I hope to spread awareness of people who are not always treated fairly, the Have Not’s, and those who are, the Haves, tend to be sinful as shown though their actions of what best interests them.

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