Analysis Of Nathaniel Hawthorne 's ' The Minister 's Black Veil '

954 WordsDec 5, 20154 Pages
The concept of the individual is a prominent one in Romantic literature. One of the major themes of individualism in Romanticism is the notion of characters discovering themselves through their experiences. This discovery of one’s self highlights for the reader the author’s opinions on what it means to be an ideal person. Though light and dark Romanticism differ in some small aspects on this topic, the main point is the same. This is illustrated in the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ralph Waldo Emerson, as both authors profess that a person who has realized their ideal self has grown to possess an education and is willing to sacrifice worldly pleasures for the sake of progress. The first similar major theme in the works of these men is the need for education to reach a higher form of self. Though each man has a different definition for education, the core theme is the same. Nathaniel Hawthorne, in “The Minister’s Black Veil,” provides an example of education through the character of Mr. Hooper. Mr. Hooper, a minister, realizes the corruption of himself and others through sin and begins to wear a black veil on his face. In becoming educated about religion and more aware of himself, Mr. Hooper attains progress. He quickly becomes very popular amongst the people of the town for his sermons and services. Through this, Hawthorne shows the reader how becoming more educated about one’s religion is worthwhile. Furthermore, Hawthorne criticizes those who are ignorant of their
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