Minister's Black Veil: Christianity In America

Good Essays
The next piece of Hawthorne’s works that is important to analyze to understand his feelings toward Christianity in America is the story called The Minister’s Black Veil. This work is interesting to study Hawthorne’s thoughts on Christianity because it focuses on both negative and positive aspects of Christianity in America. In this piece a parson in a Puritan community suspiciously emerges from his home one morning adorning a black veil. The community is both curious and frightened by the dark piece of clothing seen on the preacher’s head. Hawthorne writes that the Parson Hooper was a good preacher but with the adornment of the veil, his audience became overwhelmed by the words he was preaching. Hawthorne states, “But there was something,…show more content…
In this short story by Hawthorne, a corrupt English governor is set to march on a group of defenseless Puritans. Hawthorne describes the situation as, “On one side the religious multitude, with their sad visages and dark attire, and on the other, the group of despotic rulers, with the high churchman in the midst, and here and there a crucifix at their bosoms, all magnificently clad, flushed with wine, proud of unjust authority, and scoffing at the universal groan” (“The Grey Champion”). In the story, just as the governor and his troops are about to attack the Puritans, a man whom no one can recognize steps forward to protect the community of Christians. In the story the man is dressed in all grey and is not recognized by either his own people or the army that is marching toward him. The man stands in front of the governor and his soldiers and claims, “I am here, Sir Governor, because the cry of an oppressed people hath disturbed me in my secret place; and beseeching this favor earnestly of the Lord, it was vouchsafed me to appear once again on earth, in the good old cause of his Saints” (“The Grey Champion”). As he states this he is able to inspire the Puritans to take up rocks and the governor found the Puritans “beheld them burning with that lurid wrath, so difficult to kindle or to quench” (“The Grey Champion”). After staring at the crowd and at the Grey Champion the governor made a retreat with his troops. The story goes on to conclude that the Grey Champion returns, “whenever the descendants of the Puritans are to show the spirit of their sires” (“The Grey Champion”). Hawthorne ends his story by stating that the Grey Champion is a result of the hereditary and revolutionary spirit of the Puritans. In this story is seen a clear link from Hawthorne on the spirit of the Puritans being able
Get Access