deal with at one time or another in his or her lifetime. Sin is dealt with in
many ways. Some people try to hide their sins, some try to push them aside and
some try to deal with their sins in a more conventional way. The largest place
for the man to go to. He must deal with his sin in his own way; a way that will
Minister?s Black Veil? dawns a black veil to deal with his sins. The themes
wrongdoing. When Mr. Hooper puts the black veil on, he is no longer Mr. Hooper;
face. After his first sermon, he did not go to Old Squire Saunders table to
bless the food, as he had done almost every Sunday since his settlement. As
while others say he was ?kind and loving, though unloved, a man apart from
items that would have had less of an effect on the townspeople. But he chose a
funerals to represent mourning, grievance, or sadness, and this adds to what
Hawthorne is trying to say about Parson Hooper. Hawthorne even says ?Earth,
too, had on her Black Veil?(324). The veil covered his face, and by looking
into someone?s face and eyes, a lot can be determined about a person. In the
story, Mr. Hooper uses the veil to represent the hiding of his sins. Hooper
believed that people would wear their veils on Earth, and then they would be
revealed (Judgment Day), just as brides wear veils and then remove them at
marriage. Another theme explored in the story is character. Hawthorne chose a
minister to wear the black veil. It wasn?t a sheriff or a farmer, but a
minister. The character was very significant to his message. An ordinary person
would probably not have been subjected to the scrutiny that the minister faced.
The fact that the wearer was a minister portrays the fact that even the most
spiritual mortal beings have impure thoughts, or have committed impure deeds.
Such actions are expected from every other person in the community, but only the
best is expected from the well-respected minister of the village. Finally, I
think that the funeral held on the day that Hooper dons the black veil is very
symbolic and may prove the point that Hooper really did have a secret sin that
he was trying to hide, or conceal from the public. It seems ironic that Hooper
starts wearing the veil on the same day as the funeral. Possibly the donning of
the veil on that particular day had something to do with the death of the young
lady, or Hopper had some type of relationship with the woman. In addition,
Hooper?s encounter with the corpse seemed quite unusual. While Hooper was bent
eyelids had not been closed for ever, the dead maiden might have seen his
face?(323). On onlooker observed, ?at the instant when the clergyman?s
features were disclosed, the corpse had slightly shuddered, rustling the shroud
and muslin cap, through the countenance retained the composure of death?(323).
The corpse was the only person to see Hooper with no veil on. Somehow the corpse
saw something behind the veil. The corpse saw what Parson Hooper was trying to
keep hidden. Somehow the corpse knew that what she saw was evil and it made her
shudder, even in death. Mr. Hooper?s veil is a symbol of sin, and the dark
secrets that we neither want to face ourselves or expose to others. There are
various items throughout the story that symbolize the point what Hawthorne is
trying to get across. The person wearing the veil is a minister, which shows the
theme of character. The veil being black shows symbolism, and the corpse
shuddering at the sight of Hopper?s unveiled face, shows symbolism. All of
these examples prove Hawthorne?s point.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. ?The Minister?s Black Veil.? The Bedford
Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 5th ed. Boston: Bedford/St.
Martin?s, 1999. 320-328.