The Ministers Black Veil Essay

805 words - 4 pages

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s (1804-1864) “The Minister’s Black Veil” (1836), shows that a person’s harmless intentions can cause so much chaos to others. This short story is a parable with secrets, dark areas, and symbols.
This story is mainly about Mr. Hooper who is the Reverend of the little town Milford. Reverend Hooper shows up to church one day with a mysterious black veil over his face, making quite a problem. "Even forgetting the Omniscient can detect them," Hooper says preaching a sermon on secret sin and the things people hide in their heart. Once church is over the townspeople instantly begin gossiping about the reverend. Some of the people say that he has gone mad, but many others believe he is trying to cover up his own secret sin. Hooper continued being himself; the black veil did not change his personality. He would greet the children and townspeople, but they would always give him weird looks and avoid him. Hooper shows up in 2 more big ceremonies throughout the story. First was at a funeral when everyone there continues to talk badly about him. After the funeral he attends a wedding, which makes the event go from happy to dark. Hooper makes a toast to the couple that was just married. When giving the toast he catches a glimpse of himself in his wine glass and he is terrified of his own reflection. He then spills the wine over himself and leaves the building.
His wife, Elizabeth, tries to figure out the mystery of why her husband is wearing the veil. But Hooper says “Know, then, 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 No mortal eye will see it withdrawn.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 then wants to know if the veil is to demonstrate sorrow or sin. Hooper tells her “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?” Elizabeth hates the veil and Hooper knows this. He asks Elizabeth not to leave him, and tells her that under the veil he is...

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