Literary Analysis Paper: the Minister's Black Veil

Topics: Sin, Evil, Salvation Pages: 3 (1241 words) Published: December 9, 2012
Literary Analysis Essay

Symbolism plays a major role in the “Minister’s Black Veil” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It influences the setting of the story and it complements the moral message. The minister, Mr. Hooper, has a lot of faith and is very committed to helping the society to be more faithful and closer to God. He lives a very harsh live being rejected by society and goes through unpleasant moments to achieve his original goal. When he decides to wear the black veil, he was not trying to be mysterious and create a gloomy environment like he did; he had much more than that in mind. The Black Veil represents the thought of the puritans that sin was an inexcusable mistake, the secret sin and dark side in each individual, and he uses this symbol to teach a moral lesson to the puritan society.

Puritan society was very hypocritical and was very close-minded. People thought that sin was an unforgivable mistake. They all know the have sinned and still do not accept the minister with his black veil because they thought he was hiding a secret sin. He is excluded and judged from his very first appearance with the black veil. “He has changed himself into something awful, only by hiding his face,” a woman makes this judgment when he first appeared with the black veil. It shows how people made comments and judgments without further knowledge on why the minister was wearing the veil. Similarly, wearing a black veil was something unusual in the town and it brought a tension in the relationship between the reverend and the people of the congregation. At this level, the minister mentions to all the people that they do not accept their natural sinful existence because of prejudice among the society. He states that even if they do not confess it publicly God will know because He is almighty, “the subject had reference to secret sin, and those sad mysteries which we hide from our nearest and dearest, and would fain conceal from our consciousness, even forgetting that the...
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