Close Reading And Phychoanalysis In The Minister's Black Veil

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Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Minister’s Black Veil” tells of an 18th century Connecticut minister appearing one day before the congregation with a black veil. For the reader, this enigmatic decision opens for multiple interpretations of its universal application. Therefore, applying close reading and psychoanalysis posits different ways of reading that produces both conflicting and conjunctive meanings.

New criticism

The formalistic approach emphasizes the close reading of the text, regardless of the reader’s response, author’s intentions and the cultural and historical context and foregrounds what the work says and how it says; ultimately “manifest[ing] the truth” (Connors, 37). Since this story is subtitled “A Parable”, it insinuates the moral truth Hawthorne wishes to explicate to the congregation. The dark, morbid atmosphere radiating from the minister’s veil is a symbolic of all that is inward expresses itself outwardly; thus the “secret sin” of Mr. Hooper. Hawthorne’s choice of dark words until the end –“duskily”, deathlike paleness” and “death pillow” – not only
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The same notion applies to close reading. But, the unique process of psychoanalysis is more rewarding than the heavily institutionalized approach of New Criticism, because the incorporation of cognitive science into literature allows the reader to interpret and evaluate how and why people behave as they do. Seeing as you can know any work of art, like literature, through some human process of cognizance, by means of your own mind, certainly then, there is an ever-present psychological element to literature. Such literary criticism can shape and articulate that experience from the author’s words from the characters and the text to our own world of

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