The Innate Nature of Sin

Topics: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown, Satanism Pages: 4 (1349 words) Published: April 18, 2013
The Innate Nature of Sin
Nathaniel Hathorne was an author who consistently wrote about satires of the Puritan time. His short stories often revolved around themes of sin and how no one could escape from committing sin. The short stories “The Minister’s Black Veil” and “Young Goodman Brown,” written by Hawthorne, reflect these themes through elements of fiction, such as plot, setting, symbolism, and point of view. “The Minister’s Black Veil” is about a town’s minister who walks into Sunday Congregation with a heinous black veil covering his face. The veil shields him from the sins of the rest of the world, and the rest of the world from his sin. “Young Goodman Brown” is about a newly married man who leaves Faith, his wife to follow a man into the forest, where Satanic Rituals occur. These Satanic Rituals are powered by the people Goodman Brown had once known to be the most religious. Through the elements of fiction, the short stories “The Minister’s Black Veil” and “Young Goodman Brown,” show how there is no way for one escape from committing sin, no matter who they are.

One of the stories Hawthorne writes is “The Minister’s Black Veil.” The story starts when a minster walks into his weekly Sunday sermon with a veil that cover’s his face.. The veil is seen as symbolic with sin, because the minister has started to wear his sin on his face. He is shunned from the town, as people start to grow uncomfortable in his presence. The veil is a constant reminder of their sins as well. When the Minister goes to a funeral of a girl, he walks in with the veil and stoops down to the corpse’s level, and when by accident his face unveiled (just to the corpse) “the corpse had slightly shuddered, rustling the shroud and muslin cap, though the countenance retained the composure of death.” (“Black Veil” 337). When the corpse sees the face of the minister, it shudders in reaction. This reaction gives hints about what may be behind the black veil. It shows that what is behind the...
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