Hawthorne's View Of Puritanism In The Minister's Black Veil

912 Words 4 Pages
Ronit Shrem

Hawthorne’s View of Puritanism Through the Black Veil

“The Minister’s Black Veil”, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, an American fiction novelist and short story writer, uses the symbol of the black veil to convey his view of the puritan religion. The Milford minister and reverend, Mr. Hooper, wear a black veil that represents the puritan religion ridding the joy out of life. Additionally, the minister’s veil symbolizes the townspeople’s sins, in which they try to conceal and hide. Furthermore, the superficiality and hypocrisy of the puritan society is revealed because of the black veil. Nathaniel Hawthorne conveys his view of the puritan religion by using the symbol of the minister’s black veil.

Hawthorne’s negative view of puritanism taking the joy and happiness out of life is portrayed through the minister’s black veil. This semi-sheer black veil worn by Mr. Hooper, the reverend, overturns the exhilarated ambience. The short story begins with the sexton standing on a porch pulling at the bell-rope of the Milford meeting-house while children are merrily tripping beside their parents. The mood drastically changes once Mr. Hooper is spotted wearing a black veil.
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The shift from happiness to sadness is caused by the black veil which represents Hawthorne’s view of the puritan religion, being a dark and depressing religion. The black veil serves as a reminder to the puritan townspeople of their immorality and sinful actions, in which they try to hide. Superficiality and hypocrisy of the puritan society are represented by the black veil since the townspeople specifically focus on Mr. Hooper’s sin, instead of admitting or acknowledging their own wringdoings. The author of “The Minister's Black Veil” conveys his view of the puritan religion by using the symbol of the minister’s black

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