17 December 2008
Mrs. Hasler- Brooks
English II, Level II
We Are All Sinners
“The Minister’s Black Veil” takes place in a typical Puritan village in New England. The majority of the people in this Puritan village live very strict lives, emphasizing hard work and religious devotion. One member of this village, Reverend Mr. Hooper, is the main focus in the story because of his black veil on his face that reveals nothing but his mouth and chin. Because of this black veil, many people start to change their attitude and feelings towards him. Some people begin to fear him, others make the assumption that he is mentally unstable; his fiancé leaves him, but others realize that he has a logical principle behind all this. In “The Minster’s Black Veil”¸ Nathaniel Hawthorne illustrates Mr. Hooper as a flat caricature by his usage of his unique black veil to portray the message throughout this short story. A flat character is a character that undergoes no change throughout the story and remains the same throughout. In this short story, Hawthorne displays the symbolic black veil on Reverend Hooper to make readers understand the idea Hooper is trying to prove; but not once in this story does Mr. Hooper change or remove the black veil. When his fiancée, Elizabeth questioned Mr. Hooper about the veil, he responded by saying, “Have patience with me, Elizabeth! Do not desert me, though this veil must be between us here on earth” (Hawthorne 343). The significance of this line shows how exactly Mr. Hooper can be interpreted as a flat character. When his fiancé questioned him about his veil and asked him to remove it, he refused to do and eventually she left him. Meanwhile, the rest of the town began to gossip about Mr. Hooper. He could no longer walk the streets in peace because other people would stare and talk about him making him feel very uncomfortable. Because of the black veil, many people started to believe he’s mad and crazy, and others started to fear...
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