The Minister’s Black Veil By Nathaniel Hawthorne: Analysis
Dear Reader, in this article we wanted to talk about the short story entitled The minister’s black veil by Nathaniel Hawthorn. It’s a very popular story written in the 1800s at a time. When things were very puritanical in the northeast part of the country is just taking place in New England and so if you’re not familiar with the story you can listen to my audio performance of it.
I’m going to talk about this in this little video here so the main plot point is the fact that Reverend Hooper and the story is in charge of a congregation. One day shows up with a black veil on his face and the congregants are very confused by this they don’t understand why he’s wearing it and he never reveals it.
Explicitly why he’s wearing this black veil and this plot point effect has been criticized by some critics including Edgar Allen Poe who was actually a big fan of Hawthorne’s but he didn’t like it. The fact that he didn’t explicitly give the reason for Reverend Hooper wearing.
The black veil although in the story we do have several clues as to the reason why he’s wearing it there’s a scene. Where he’s attending a funeral of a woman who just died and some of the parishioners see that say that there’s almost like a mystical magical connection between the tomb between the Reverend and the dead girl and so I think that gives us a clue as to what.
The Reverend Hooper has done I mean I don’t think that would be in the story just for no reason so even though authoring doesn’t simply tell us the reason for the veil.
He implies what that reason is and it seems that Reverend Hooper has had a premarital affair with this woman he’s also engaged to be married to another.
Woman Elizabeth in the story and it seems like he’s cheated on her with this woman who’s not his wife and the woman subsequently dies. So I think though the interesting thing about the veil is that
The Reverend chooses to keep that reason mysterious he chooses to wear the veil. He never takes it off throughout his entire life and this is much to the dismay of the congregants of his church
He is much scorned and people don’t like the fact that he won’t reveal the reason that he is wearing the veil and he won’t take it off for any reason at all. But to me, the interesting thing is that he makes that choice to do that.
From my point of view for the fact that by wearing the veil and letting it be a mystery he keeps it on the minds of everyone in the church and everyone who knows him that. We all have these secrets in this idea of secret sin and whereas if you would have just come out and say this
Is what happened this is why this is the sin that I committed I’m asking for forgiveness and therefore. That’s why I’m wearing this veil everyone would have been like alright.
Dude no problem you know and like all right well you know have been a little tiny news story as we would say these days kind of like. If you notice there were a couple of scandals last year extramarital affair scandals.
one was David Letterman and one was Tiger Woods and they both took opposite approaches on how to handle that Letterman came out and talked about it.
Almost immediately said I’m sorry I did these bad things here’s what happened here’s the deal and it was a little – 30-day news story. Tiger Woods denied the whole thing denies and over time information leaked out and it was a major scandal. That was on the front pages for months and months and everyone remembers.
In the Tiger Woods scandal, no one really remembers too much. The Letterman scandal is kind of similar in a way the Reverend chooses to keep the veil on his face for his entire life.
So that everyone who sees it everyone who knows about it can use it as a symbol can see it as a symbol of their own secret sin. Those they carry around and in their lives and in this way he keeps it on their minds instead of it going away as a couple of days.
A news story or whatever that people would gossip about now it’s something that they’re on their minds for a long time forever and he can use it as a symbol to say look everybody’s got secrets in and we should deal with it more explicitly.
Even though he doesn’t deal with his explicitly may be trying to get people to come into the church and through confession be forgiven instead of keeping their sins hidden within themselves come into the church and be forgiven and in this story.
We even see that Hawthorne tells us that. The veil while most people don’t like it and hate him for wearing it. He becomes really a much better Reverend in that a lot of troubled souls come to him and find comfort in the fact.
They have a kindred spirit in a way that they are confessing to whereas normally they maybe wouldn’t come in and confess to a priest or Reverend. Who maybe they perceive as being perfect and never having had sins everyone knows that.
Reverend who press in because he wears a symbol of it on his face every day and so the troubled souls who need to confess the most come in and feel comforted by Reverend Hooper and so some of the questions.
I thought about for today in addition to the whole Tiger Woods David Letterman comparison of their extramarital affair scandals from last year. We know in this society that we have today with social media reality TV is this concept of secrets is really still with us and as pertinent
Today, as it was in Hawthorne’s time when it was a much more puritanical and much more dogmatic kind of religious atmosphere where sin was a major issue of the day and today’s society, is that still.
The case is we still concerned with our secret sins and how they’ll affect us throughout our lives and throughout eternity in the story. It’s interesting because Reverend Hooper says that he’ll take the veil off after he’s dead in a sense.
After that, he can be with Elizabeth his fiancée he can be with her in eternity but he can’t be with her during his life so those are some of the issues from The Minister’s Black Veil it’s a great story.
The Minister’s Black Veil is One of my favourites by Nathaniel Hawthorne
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