Symbolism In The Minister's Black Veil By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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In the “Minister's Black Veil” Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism to represent secret sin and shows the theme is death. The main character named Mr. Hooper wears a black veil In the story Hooper wears a black veil which symbolizes hiding sin.
“But what if the world will not believe that it is the type of an innocent sorrow?” urged Elizabeth. “Beloved and respected as you are, there may be whispers that you hide your face under the consciousness of secret sin. For the sake of your holy office, do away this scandal!” The color rose into her cheeks as she intimated the nature of the rumors that were already abroad in the village. (Hawthorne 477)

Throughout the town citizens are spreading rumors about Mr. Hooper using the veil to hide his sins
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Hooper’s face!” “Something must surely be amiss with Mr. Hooper’s intellects,” observed her husband, the physician of the village. “But the strangest part of the affair is the effect of this vagary, even on a sober-minded man like myself. The black veil, though it covers only our pastor’s face, throws its influence over his whole person, and makes him ghostlike from head to foot. Do you not feel it so?” “Truly do I,” replied the lady; “and I would not be alone with him for the world. I wonder he is not afraid to be alone with himself!” “Men sometimes are so,” said her husband. …. “Why do you look back?” said one in the procession to his partner. “I had a fancy,” replied she, “that the minister and the maiden’s spirit were walking hand in hand.” “And so had I, at the same moment,” said the other.

The townspeople talk about Mr. Hooper and imply that he might have been with the maiden before her passing, which would mean he cheated and his plighted wife.
“Why do you tremble at me alone? cried he, turning his veiled face round the circle of pale spectators. Tremble also at each other! Have men avoided me, and women shown no pity, and children screamed and fled, only for my black veil? What, but the mystery which it obscurely typifies, has made this piece of crape so awful?” (Hawthorne 482)

Mr. Hooper is so guilty by the end of the story,

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