Black Veil

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Study Guide
“The Minister’s Black Veil”
p. 239-247

1. Define symbolism. How is symbolism used in this story?

2. Define parable. How is this story a parable?

3. What is the mood in Milford? How do the villagers feel about going to service?
Does that mood change later in the story?

4. How does the veil affect the congregation’s view of Mr. Hooper? How does it affect his view of the world?

5. How does Mr. Hooper define “secret sin”? Why does the congregation tremble at his mention of secret sin?

6. Why might the veil lend power to Mr. Hooper’s sermon?

7. What is Hawthorne’s attitude toward Old Squire Saunder’s behavior?

8. How would you explain the supposed movement of the corpse in the one scene in the story?

9.What might the vision of the minister and the maiden’s spirit symbolize?

10. What does the phrase “darkly understood” on the top of page 243 refer to? What does the snatching away of the veil possibly symbolize?

11. What does the narrator men when he says, “For the Earth, too, had on her Black Veil”?

12. Why doesn’t anyone ask Mr. Hooper directly why he wears the black veil?

13. What happens when the church sends a delegation to talk to Mr. Hooper?

14. Mr. Hooper apparently chooses to separate himself from the world, even from his fiancée. What might be his motives?

15. The second to last paragraph on page 244 is a key passage in the story. Why”

16. Why does Elizabeth say Hooper should remove the veil? How does Elizabeth feel in this scene?

17. What is the result of the encounter between Elizabeth and Mr. Hooper?

18. Do people come to respect Mr. Hooper? Defend your answer.

19. What do we learn about Elizabeth as time passes in the story?

20. What reasons does Rev. Clark give for lifting the veil?

21. Why does Mr. Hooper claim to see a black veil on everyone’s face? What is he saying in his final

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