Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover

Topics: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Short story, Henry James Pages: 2 (764 words) Published: November 1, 2011
Don’t Judge A Book By its Cover
Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author of “The Minister’s Black Veil” portrays many different themes about sin in his short story. One theme he portrayed was how people in the 1800’s are so judgmental when they experience change. Hawthorne showed that when you keep your “black veils” hidden, people still accept you as being a part of the norm because they do not try to look past what is on the surface, but when you reveal your “black veils” and it’s something they dislike they put a label on you. Hawthorne used the veil to symbolize how people are so used to the norms of their everyday lives. Mr. Hooper had no real reason to wear the veil except to reveal how the simplest change can cause a whole town to become so judgmental in a short period of time. Hawthorne used the veil to prove to the people in the town that they need to be less concerned about other people’s lives and more concerned with their own. The main reason for the veil was to teach people that they should not judge someone by what is on the outside, but what is inside. Nathaniel Hawthorne explores the theme of judgmental behavior in his short story “The Minister’s Black Veil”. In the “Minister’s Black Veil” Mr. Hooper, a minister in a small town decided one day that he was going to wear a black veil on his face. The black veil on Mr. Hooper covered everything on his face except for his mouth. When Mr. Hooper decided to go out into town with his new attire on, it brought many negative reactions from his townspeople. The people of his town and his own church community started to question if Mr. Hopper was even their same minister: "Are you sure it is our parson?" inquired Goodman Gray of the sexton (44). Just because Mr. Hooper had changed his look his own people questioned his identity. Also after revealing his new appearance to his community they all began to judge him even though they did not know why he wore the black veil: "I don't like it," muttered an old woman,...
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