Minister’s Black Veil Essay, Research Paper

The Minister’s Black Veil.

The story “The Minister’s Black Veil” is symbolic of the hidden sins that we

hide and separate ourselves from the ones we love most. In wearing the veil Hooper

presents the isolation that everybody experiences when they are chained down by

their own sins. He has realized that everybody symbolically can be found in the

shadow of their own veil. By Hooper wearing this shroud across his face is only

showing the dark side of people and the truth of human existence and nature.

Hooper left the dark shroud on because he has realized that secret sin is a

veil that can never be lifted from anybody until the day of their death. In a quote

from the story Mr. Hooper says, “There is an hour to come, when all of us shall cast

aside our veils. Take it not amiss, beloved friend, if I wear this piece of crepe till

then.” By saying this Mr. Hooper expresses the feeling that while human beings are

alive on the earth a veil shows their face. Hooper promised himself and made a life

task of playing a mirror to the people around him. The veil cannot be lifted until

the freedom of truth can be observed.

The minister’s friends and neighbors are so upset by the veil because the veil

becomes a wall between himself and his congregation. The first response is one of

curiosity which then turns in suspicion. They cannot understand the meaning for

the wearing of the black veil and in turn the people become very uncomfortable

around him. The veil and it color symbolizes death, wrongdoing, and sin. The

congregation felt as though Mr. Hooper could reach into their souls and see all sins

hidden inside. This was said in the story as, “Each member of the congregation, the

most innocent girl, and the man of most hardened breast felt as if the preacher had

crept upon them, behind his awful veil, and discovered their supplied a wicked act

of something that was done or thought.” Because of the minister’s promise he was

forced into a lonely personal life.

In the minutes before Hooper died, he requested that the veil never be

removed. This wish would be his last. Though in lifting the veil I think the

sorrowers wouldn’t find anything then a normal human being. Lifting the veil

wouldn’t resolve any of the of the feelings that overcame parishioners. Until then

the secret sin would act as a separation between people and God.

The quote, ”The eyes are window to your soul,” has an important effect

about my thinking involving in the story. In not being able to see Mr. Hooper’s eyes

Congregation became uncomfortable. The eyes make it possible for others to

recognize your feelings, emotions, and moods. By covering them darkness

surrounding person himself. One quote that could relate to this story is, “do not

judge by appearance.” From the first day of the veil dropping over Mr. Hooper’s

face people’s opinions have changed of him. He became a mystery, unreachable,

and feared. In reality Mr. Hooper didn’t change at all. He was the same kind and

gentle man with the slight smile gracing his face. Only by adding of a simple cloth

did the person they once knew change into a stranger in their own eyes. A simple

difference in appearance can change a persons life in a multitude of ways. The veil

was a thin obstacle separating Hooper from his own people.


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