This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Minister's Black Veil Essays: Masks And Intimacy

1271 words - 5 pages

The Minister's Black Veil - Masks and Intimacy     

  The Minister's Black Veil begins with a young pastor, Mr. Hooper, arriving at church with an ugly black veil covering his face. The people are all dismayed, and wonder why he is wearing a black veil. They are further dismayed and confused, when he refuses to take it off--ever. There is only one person who is not horrified by his black veil--his wife-to-be, Elizabeth. She comes to him and says, "there is nothing terrible in this piece of crape, except that it hides a face which I am always glad to look upon. Come, good sir, let the sun shine from behind the cloud. First lay aside your black veil: then tell me why you put it on." (Heath 2143) Mr. Hooper smiles and replies, "There is an hour to come when all of us shall cast aside our veils. Take it not amiss, beloved friend, if I wear this piece of crape till then." (Heath 2143)

Elizabeth, again, entreats him to remove the veil, but he replies, "this veil is a type and a symbol, and I am bound to wear it ever, both in light and darkness, in solitude and before the gaze of multitudes, and as with strangers, so with my familiar friends. No mortal eye will see it withdrawn. This dismal shade must separate me from the world: even you, Elizabeth, can never come behind it!" Elizabeth asks him what shall the people think of his veil? Won't it start a scandal? Mr. Hooper then replies, "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?" (Heath 2143)

Elizabeth begins to feel terror at the sight of the veil. She turns to leave the room, and Mr. Hooper cries, "Have patience with me, Elizabeth! Do not desert me, though this veil must be between us here on earth. Be mine, and hereafter there shall be no veil over my face, no darkness between our souls! It is but a mortal veil--it is not for eternity! Oh! you know not how lonely I am, and how frightened to be alone behind my black veil. Do not leave me in this miserable obscurity for ever!" Elizabeth replies, "Lift the veil but once, and look me in the face." "Never! It cannot be!" replies Mr. Hooper. Elizabeth then replies, "Farewell!" (Heath 2143) Their engagement is broken, and Mr. Hooper goes through life with the awful black veil over his face.

Upon Mr. Hooper's deathbed, another minister asks that the veil be removed from Mr. Hooper's face. Mr. Hooper cries, "Never! On earth, never!" "'Dark old man!' exclaimed the affrightened minister, 'with what horrible crime upon your soul are you now passing to the judgment?" Mr. Hooper then replies, "Why do you tremble at me alone? Tremble also at each other! Have men avoided me, and women shown no pity, and children screamed and fled, only for my black veil? What, but the mystery which it obscurely typifies, has made this piece of crape so awful? When the friend shows his inmost heart to his friend; the lover to his best-beloved; when man does not vainly shrink from the eye...

Find Another Essay On Minister's Black Veil Essays: Masks and Intimacy

Alienation in The Minister's Black Veil

678 words - 3 pages Alienation in The Minister's Black Veil "The Minister's Black Veil" by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a story about one clergyman's alienation due to his outward dressing. Reverend Hooper was a well-respected preacher who got along well with the townspeople until one day when he appeared wearing a black veil over his face that consisted "of two folds of crape, which entirely concealed his features, except the mouth and chin" (Hawthorne 253). From

The Minister's Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne

1641 words - 7 pages honesty and sin he had probably committed. Some people start to perceive the minister as ghostlike or even dead just because of his black veil which is revealed in the words of women: "The black veil, although it covers only the pastor's face, throws his influences over the whole person, and makes him ghostlike from head to foot", "I had a fancy (…) that the minister's and the maiden's spirits (the comment takes place

The Minister's Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne

808 words - 3 pages The Minister's Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Minister's Black Veil" embodies the hidden sins that we all hide and that in turn distance us from the ones we love most. Reverend Hooper dons a black veil throughout this story, and never takes it off. He has discerned in everyone a dark, hidden self of secret sin. In wearing the veil Hooper dramatizes the isolation that each person experiences when

A Comparison of "The Scarlet Letter" and "The Minister's Black Veil"

1014 words - 4 pages Throughout his literary endeavors, Nathaniel Hawthorne utilizes symbolism to present a certain theme that pertains to human nature and life. In his works, The Scarlet Letter and "The Minister's Black Veil", Hawthorne uses symbolism to present a common theme pertaining to religion; that though manifested sin will ostracize a person from society, un-confessed sin will destroy the soul. The central theme in The Scarlet Letter is that

Main Themes of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter and The Minister's Black Veil

796 words - 3 pages Main Themes of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter and The Minister's Black Veil Nathaniel Hawthorne’s works often have parallel themes and similar characters. His approach is quite gloomy and the atmosphere for his stories is many times sad and depressing. Hawthorne concentrates his novel and short stories around the Puritan community, which adds to the tense and unforgiving atmosphere. One of his most renowned novels, The Scarlet

Similar Themes in both Roger Malvin's Burial and The Minister's Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne

3309 words - 14 pages In both “Roger Malvin's Burial” and “The Minister's Black Veil,” Nathaniel Hawthorne centralizes the themes of sin, guilt, and repentance. Both are very much set in terms of what defines sin and, in turn, what would constitute action leaving an opening for forgiveness, and both leave many a question unanswered in the story being told. The main question for us becomes, then, one of applicability. Does either story hold a message, if so, what? In

Minister's Black Veil - Poverty in the Tale and in the Life of the Author

1585 words - 6 pages “The Minister’s Black Veil” – Poverty in the Tale and in the Life of the Author              Henry Seidel Canby in “A Skeptic Incompatible with His Time and His Past” mentions of Hawthorne that “human failures and their causes were more interesting to him than prophecies of success, one might truly say than success itself. …He was not, I think, really interested in escape, except in moods of financial discouragement. . . . (57). Nathaniel

The Essence Of Symbolism In "The Minister's Black Veil"

1324 words - 5 pages The short story, "The Minister's Black Veil" is by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne is known for using strong symbolism in his stories. The symbolism in this story is from a black veil that Reverend Hooper wears to a service one Sunday morning and then continues wearing it for the rest of his life. There are many theories as to why Reverend Hooper wears this veil over his face. This veil changes the life of Reverend Hooper and literally all of the

Hidden sins in "The Minister's Black Veil" by Nathaniel Hawthorne

1117 words - 4 pages deaths by mistrial. In addition, a reader can easily see the pessimism in his writing, and many hypothesize that his family's past has a part in his style. In the 'The Minister's Black Veil', Hawthorne shows a great deal of pessimism through a minister who feels that he is too sinful to show his face. The minister, Mr. Hopper, has many hidden sins; furthermore, hidden sins is the main theme of the parable.Hawthorne develops the theme of hidden

Damage of Assumptions in Hawthorne's The Minister's Black Veil

573 words - 2 pages The damage that can come from assumptions is far greater than most people today realize. “The Minister’s Black Veil” by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a short story which shows the sad truth of how society makes false assumptions about others. Throughout the story, the townspeople’s assumptions regarding Mr. Hooper causes themselves and Mr. Hooper much distress and sorrow. During the last scene of the story, Mr. Hooper is laying in his death bed with

Dissection of inclusion and exclusion in "Bartelby" (Melville) "The Sculptor's Funeral" (Cather) "The Minister's Black Veil" (Hawthorne) and the novella "Of Mice and Men" (Steinbeck)

1321 words - 5 pages preacher's townsfolk find the veil hideous.To endure inclusion and exclusion is a phenomenon experienced by those who are characterized by some unique quality. This quality must be striking and grandiose, enough so that is separates a person from a group. Consider the black veil of the minister. It is psychologically shocking enough to produce the effect of exclusion. "Such was the effect of this simple piece of crape, that more than one woman of

Similar Essays

The Minister's Black Veil Essay

1122 words - 4 pages In Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Minister's Black Veil," Mr. Hooper, a Reverend in the town of Milford, surprises his parishioners by donning a conspicuous black veil one Sunday. The town is visibly spooked, yet still curious, about his eerie appearance and profoundly affected by his sermon on secret sin. "A subtle power was breathed into his words. Each member of the congregation, the most innocent girl, and the man of hardened breast, felt as

Minister's Black Veil Essay

893 words - 4 pages to the fullest.This short story has come to the attention of readers, and some have written critical summaries, or essays, about The Minister?s Black Veil. One of these critiques is by a man named, William Freedman. Freedman wrote, The Artist?s Symbol and Hawthorne?s Veil: ?The Minister?s Black Veil? Resartus. The author touched on the meaning of the veil, from an artistic and symbolic view. He believes that, the significance of the veil, was

Analysis Of Hawthorne's "The Minister's Black Veil" And "The Birthmark"

875 words - 4 pages immensely. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Minister's Black Veil" and "The Birthmark," it becomes clear through symbolism and character that the judgment of physical imperfections can restrain or obstruct one from truly obtaining the gifts or treasures that the criticized person could offer.In the "Veil," Mr. Hooper and his black veil are utilized to exemplify the potential barrier that a simple physical characteristic can express. For example

Minister's Black Veil Poverty In Minister’s Black Veil And In Hawthorne’s Life

1483 words - 6 pages Poverty in “The Minister’s Black Veil” and in Hawthorne’s Life                 How many readers have considered that the utter simplicity within the Nathaniel Hawthorne short story, “The Minister’s Black Veil,” might be an expression or reflection of the utter poverty within the life of Hawthorne? It is the purpose of this essay to clarify this issue.   Hawthorne’s impoverishment probably began with the untimely death of his