Analysis of The Minister's Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Analysis of The Minister's Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Analysis of The Minister's Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne


In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “The Minister’s Black Veil,” Hawthorne portrayed a Puritan minister as a man not naïve enough to believe that he could not escape sin or secret sin. Good Mr. Hooper, as he was called, spent his entire adult life trying to prove a point that was only figured out in the end. Throughout the story good Mr. Hooper was treated as though he was a threat revealing to the people that they too, hid behind masks. Hawthorne tried to get the point across that no person could escape secret sin and that all people hid behind masks.
Throughout the story, the minister does not at any point take the veil off or let anyone else touch it. This was a sign of true devotion to his god and a sure way of getting into heaven. Good Mr. Hooper made the people feel odd because he wore the veil of black crape. As the Sexton said in story, “I can’t really feel as if good Mr. Hooper’s face was behind that piece of crape.”
Good Mr. Hooper gave up his entire adult life for his secret sin and also to prove a point that no one could hide from sin, no matter who they were. In the story Hooper gave up his fiancée for his task, because if he did not give her up he thought that he would fail his mission. Good Mr. Hooper would not even reveal to her why he would not take off his veil but gave her a hint when he said, “If I hide my face for sorrow, there is cause enough and if I cover it for secret sin, what mortal might not do the same?”
Good Mr. Hooper’s mannerisms also helped get Hawthorne’s point across. Mr. Hooper was always somber and never showed pure happiness except when he died. He was purely happy when he died because he knew the gates of heaven would open up for him when he got there. He also never gave all of his sermons, marriage ceremonies, and funeral services in an upbeat mood. He was always in a mild mood and showed a glimmer of a smile once in a while.
Throughout the story, Mr. Hooper is portrayed as an odd man who wears a

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123helpme.com/search.asp?text=black+veil">black veil. As he goes through the life with this black veil he created sin for those people by having them whisper and ridicule him to other people and thoughts about him to themselves. As the story progressives, the whispering stops and wonder sets in for the parishioners. The ignorance of the town is abundant due to the fact that they were Puritans and felt that they could never be touched by sin. This is what Hawthorne wanted to show, that no matter who those people were, they could not escape sin.
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