Literary Analysis Essay On The Minister's Black Veil

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The Ministers Black Veil Essay
Gradually being drawn away from those around him, judged by each person who passes him on the streets, an insignificant piece of cloth withholds a humble yet guilty minister from the rest of society. “The Minister’s Black Veil” introduces Mr. Hooper as a neat and gentlemanly person, but he rapidly begins his withdrawal from society as the community suddenly recognizes the black veil suspended over his face. Many people begin to judge Mr. Hooper prematurely based on gossip spreading throughout the town and begin to speculate guilt is the reason their minister is wearing a veil. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “The Minister’s Black Veil,” secrets about the veil based on guilt, the separation the veil caused,
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Hooper feel even more guilty. The minister believes that he needs to show the people how to atone for their sins, and the rest of society judges him for that. For example, as Mr. Hooper walks into the meeting-house the narrator describes the veil as “[setting] all the congregation astir.” In addition to the rest of the congregation, Goodman Gray exclaimed that the minister “’[had] gone mad!’” (Hawthorne 2). The author creates a surprised tone in this quote. The imagery used by Hawthorne shows how confused the entire crowd is and that none of them approve of Mr. Hooper wearing the black veil. As the congregation is murmuring about their surprise towards the minister the tone creates a weary image of the crowd. Moreover, when the narrator is describing the pros and cons to the veil he states, “[Mr. Hooper] became a man of awful power over souls that were in agony for sin” (Hawthorne 10). Hawthorne also uses imagery in this example to show the sorrowful tone shadowing Mr. Hooper’s veil. The minister had been shut out from society, therefore became too close to his own and others’ sins. Hawthorne relates Mr. Hooper to agonizing souls, creating an image of anguish that follows the minister around wherever he goes. The minister believes that it was right to focus on one’s own sins and atone for them while the rest of society avoids their own sins. The beliefs of the people contrast with those of Mr. Hooper which is the reason that the minister is constantly judged for showing his own guilt while the rest of the town judges him, not focusing on their own sins. Separation from society is caused by rumors and judgement based on different beliefs as shown by Mr. Hooper’s struggle with the rest of the town to combat rumors about his veil. The minister also has an internal struggle with himself, facing his own guilt with the black veil as a constant reminder. The veil, not only a reminder to Mr.

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