Nathaniel Hawthorne’s hatred of Puritanism was so big that he described in many of his writing such as The Scarlet Letter and The Minster Black Veil. He usually satirized them as evildoers and sin creators, not holy and Christ zealous as they described themselves. Hawthorne also used the effects of mysterious human mind and spontaneous action to describe the Puritan as satanic worship and God disobedience. In result, his writing reflected much of his Puritan ancestry affections.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts on July 4, 1804. His father named Nathaniel Hawthorne, Sr. who died in the shipwreck and his mother, Elizabeth Manning Hawthorne, who remained a widow. In 1825, Hawthorne graduated from Bowdoin College and began his career as a writer. He published some volumes of short stories and children’s literature at the Brook Farn community for the next 10 years. On July 9, 1842, he married Sophia Peabody and moved to Old Manse in Concord, Massachusetts where they lived for approximately four years (Werlock).
Hawthorne wrote his famous collection of short stories, Twice-Told Tale in 1837. The Minister’s Black Veil opened the collection and introduced to his readers about Reverend Hooper, who had a black veil on his face. Whenever he attended church or funeral service, he could preach the word of God informatively but not energetically to the audience. The reverend's fiancée wanted to remove his veil at the wedding, but he refused which created an awkward situation at the wedding. Many years later, he became mentally ill and needed Elizabeth's caring. He continued to wear the veil until his death with gloomy and mysterious affection (Wright).
Many critics observed Reverend Hooper as a sinful and demonic preacher who preached against his personal conduct. Because of his human nature, Hooper’s congregational faith failed and pushed himself into a satanic belief. His lack of affection for Elizabeth and his rejection for the community exposed him as selfish soul, fear of women, and a socialist (Coale).
Nathaniel Hawthorne used the black veil as the symbol of the mystery for many readers and critics. The veil represented an artistic symbol and a hidden “ultimate meaning.” The “ultimate meaning” was the dark side of human feeling and deep emotion. It may emerge as the great power to dominate man’s feeling and their limits. When the power rose more powerful, it became the great fear and hopelessness (Freedman).
The veil also used as concealment for the mysterious truth and the protection of the ugly truth. The veil was a symbolic disguise for the corruption of human's mind and conscience. It covered Hooper's sinful nature and revealed Hooper as a terrorist and a horrified preacher. The veil suggested to the readers a sense of curiosity and the possibility of abnormal complex of human mind (Coale, Freedman, and Mellow).
Hawthorne continued his writing career with the most successful classic, The Scarlet Letter in 1850. The story...