Literary Analysis Essay On The Minister's Black Veil

Improved Essays
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,
…show more content…
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.

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    While the minister showed his guilt it made him isolated from society. The reason he was isolated was because of his openness with his guilt which gave him a sense of evil. Because the minister can not forgive himself and he rejects the forgiveness from others and isolates himself even more. This guilt that he has prevents him, from feeling forgiven and isolates him as punishment for his sin (“Isolation and Community”). His isolation then increases because no one wants to be around his ominus sense of guilt that goes with his veil leading to many people leaving him (Leary 75).…

    • 1261 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In the story “The Minister’s Black Veil” the minister Mr. Hooper wears a black veil and it shocks the whole community. Mr. Hooper was shunned unless they need him, then “dying sinners cried aloud for Mr. Hooper, and would not yield their breath till he appeared; through ever, as he stooped to whisper consolation, they shuddered at the veiled face so near their own” (Hawthorne “Minister’s Black Veil” 306). The Puritans only come to Mr. Hooper to be forgiven for their sin, then are scared when they see their own sin was much like the veil. In the short story Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne this story talks about the evils in everyone. When seeing his whole town at a devil worship the devil himself tells Goodman Brown, “now are ye undeceived.…

    • 1131 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Inner conflict, sadness, and the disconnect between man and his nature, “Thus, from beneath the black veil, there rolled a cloud into the sunshine, an ambiguity of sin or sorrow, which enveloped the poor minister, so that love or sympathy could never reach him. (Hawthorne349)” The ambiguity of the veil leads the people to wonder if Mr. Hooper knows their secret sins, so they repudiate him or avoid him in their own…

    • 1229 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The black veil symbolically represents that everyone has their own secrets hidden from others, but the congregation, unaware of the reason behind it, alienates themselves from him. Throughout the story the veil causes many difficulties with relationships, the community, and even the minister himself. The purpose of wearing the veil causes fear in the community, and later spreads through the ministers relationship with his fiancé. And all of this is caused by one solitaire reason: Reverend Hooper not sharing his secret sin. Even on his deathbed, Reverend Hooper lives by his word to never lift his veil on Earth, and follows by it even when…

    • 1102 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    They are clearly an unstable society with no real morals and Hawthorne hated this about them. So, he wrote the Scarlet Letter and filled it with irony to specifically criticize the puritan ideals. The puritans believed that Dimmesdale was their holy pastor, yet he was ironically one of the biggest sinners in their colony. They also believed that sin should be publically shamed, but ironically only in Hester because they are all sinners secretly 1124124at heart. This is the world where everybody is fake, everybody wears a mask.…

    • 1006 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    As Dimmesdale is holding in his secret, his sin is killing him on the inside like feeling satan 's wrath. He goes on preaching, while feeling he is loosing his mind like a psychopath. Chillingworth, Hester’s secret husband, and Dimmesdale private doctor, is attempting to “help him” but in reality is making Dimmesdale worse in the overall aftermath. As Hawthorne states “It is unspeakable misery of life so false as his, that it steals the pith and substance out of whatever realities are around us” (133). The effects of holding onto his passion, is slowly ruining his inward compassion.…

    • 1087 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    . why are you so absent?” (1170). He is consistently targeted for his irregular attendance; he is even shamed when he confesses his dislike towards the current reverend. His society discriminates against him for having his own moral code; it forces him to…

    • 799 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Reverend’s own actions sicken him further; Arthur Dimmesdale “loathed his miserable self” enough to subject himself to torture(137). He keeps himself awake with night vigils and “plied his own shoulders” with a scourge(141). HIs self-inflicted psychological abuse leads to the horrifying physical harm. Reverend Dimmesdale feels guilty and ashamed for his sin which results in a longing for retribution. He temporarily satisfies this reprisal by his private torments.…

    • 838 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    His secret shapes him into an evil, mean, manipulative person. When Hester committed adultery both men were worried about what everyone would think. Chillingworth did not want Hester to tell everyone who she committed adultery with because he wanted Dimmesdale to suffer with guilt. He also did not want Hester to tell everyone that he was her husband. Chillingworth was gone for so long that the townspeople forgot about him.…

    • 1048 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    When the narrator says, “By the aid of his mysterious emblem – for there was no other apparent cause – he became a man of awful power over souls that were in agony for sin (1047).” He also implies that the people are discomforted because Mr. Hooper is a reminder of sins they have committed and are ashamed of. The minister continued with his sermons and masses the same he always did, but because he is wearing a symbol of sin, he is no longer the same. The implication that he has sinned is enough for people to turn their back on him. The parallel seen in “The Scarlett Letter” is almost identical. Hester Prynne becomes the topic of the towns gossip because of the A she is wearing on her chest.…

    • 739 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays