The Minister's Black Veil - Masks and Intimacy
The Minister's Black Veil begins with a young pastor, Mr. Hooper, arriving at church with an ugly black veil covering his face. The people are all dismayed, and wonder why he is wearing a black veil. They are further dismayed and confused, when he refuses to take it off--ever. There is only one person who is not horrified by his black veil--his wife-to-be, Elizabeth. She comes to him and says, "there is nothing terrible in this piece of crape, except that it hides a face which I am always glad to look upon. Come, good sir, let the sun shine from behind the cloud. First lay aside your black veil: then tell me why you put it on." (Heath 2143) Mr. Hooper smiles and replies, "There …show more content…
Oh! you know not how lonely I am, and how frightened to be alone behind my black veil. Do not leave me in this miserable obscurity for ever!" Elizabeth replies, "Lift the veil but once, and look me in the face." "Never! It cannot be!" replies Mr. Hooper. Elizabeth then replies, "Farewell!" (Heath 2143) Their engagement is broken, and Mr. Hooper goes through life with the awful black veil over his face.
Upon Mr. Hooper's deathbed, another minister asks that the veil be removed from Mr. Hooper's face. Mr. Hooper cries, "Never! On earth, never!" "'Dark old man!' exclaimed the affrightened minister, 'with what horrible crime upon your soul are you now passing to the judgment?" Mr. Hooper then replies, "Why do you tremble at me alone? Tremble also at each other! Have men avoided me, and women shown no pity, and children screamed and fled, only for my black veil? What, but the mystery which it obscurely typifies, has made this piece of crape so awful? When the friend shows his inmost heart to his friend; the lover to his best-beloved; when man does not vainly shrink from the eye of his Creator, loathsomely treasuring up the secret of his sin; then deem me a monster, for the symbol beneath which I have lived, and die! I look around me, and, lo! on every visage a Black Veil!" He then dies and is buried with the black veil. (Heath 2146)
In "Young Goodman Brown," Hawthorne, I believe, may have been drawing a very real parallel to
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Father Hooper, a character in The Ministers Black Veil, has put a wall up between himself and his parishioners with the simple adornment of a veil. The veil is symbolic of secret and sin the Father is trying to hide from the world. A secret so massive, it is not even to be removed by his Fiancee’, Elizabeth. While he, himself will not let his secrets be known until his earthly departure, it can be presumed that they carry the weight of infidelity. On his deathbed, Father Hooper described seeing a black veil on everyone he has met, perceiving that everyone has their own walls and
The black veil represents, covering the face in shame. Reverend Hooper enters the church with a black veil over his face, causing quite a disturbance among his congregation. He preached a sermon on secret sin and what we hide from those closest to us. The Reverend Clark tries to talk Hooper, on his deathbed, to take the veil off. He claimed it was a sign of his sadness and refused. The phrase “He has changed himself into something awful, only by hiding his face” (338). The Reverend Hooper points out on his deathbed that the only difference between himself and the people is that they conceal their sins.
In the short story, "The Minister's Black Veil," Nathaniel Hawthorne presents a similar theme to that of The Scarlet Letter through the usage of the black veil that the Reverend Mr. Hooper drapes across his face to hide his secret transgressions from the world. The veil the clergyman wears is voluntary punishment, in contrast to the scarlet letter that Hester was forced to wear, though it's consequences are similar for Reverend Hooper, as he becomes an outcast of society as well. Though everyone knows Hester's sin, no one can even find the courage to ask Father Hooper why he wears his veil. When his wife, Elizabeth, finally does ask him, he gives her no clear answer and thus the veil's meaning is ambiguous and the townspeople all have their different theories for it including sin, sorrow, and weak eyes; though most fingers pointed towards a secret sin. The ambiguity of the black veil is similar to the ambiguity of the scarlet letter. At first the letter stood for the sin of adultery
Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Minister's Black Veil" embodies the hidden sins that we all hide and that in turn distance us from the ones we love most. Reverend Hooper dons a black veil throughout this story, and never takes it off. He has discerned in everyone a dark, hidden self of secret sin. In wearing the veil Hooper dramatizes the isolation that each person experiences when they are chained down by their own sinful deeds. He has realizes that symbolically everyone can be found in the shadow of their own dark veil. Hooper in wearing this shroud across his face is only amplifying the dark side of people and the truth of human existence and nature.
After the initial onset of the black veil, the minister was alienated from himself. After performing the wedding, he caught a glimpse of himself in the looking-glass, and "the black veil involved his own spirit in the horror with which it overwhelmed all others" (Hawthorne 256). He would no longer look in a mirror at himself because "his antipathy to the veil was known to be so great" (Hawthorne 258). The veil which isolated his face from the sun and rain also kept him from his deepest fears and regrets. Reverend Hooper could no longer face himself and decided no one else alive would be allowed to face him either. The only people who seemed to see his face and understand him were lifeless corpses. As Mr. Hooper paid his last respects to a deceased young maiden in her casket, "the veil hung straight down from his forehead" (Hawthorne 255), and a superstitious woman claimed "the corpse had slightly shuttered" (Hawthorne 255). When the minister placed the black piece of cloth over his face, he intended to keep himself from the sight of his face also.
Hooper evil although he was the same person behind the veil. All the people in town already see the veil related to the devil or something gloomy like him, yet Mr. Hooper does not give up his goal and uses it to teach a lesson impacting people’s lives.
In "The Minister's Black Veil," Mr. Hooper, the village minister, begins daily wearing a black veil for mysterious reasons. While a veil typically symbolizes mourning and sorrow, the villagers saw the veil as representing so much more though they were unsure of what. The veil both terrifies the villagers and makes them feel drawn to Mr. Hooper. As the story progresses, we learn that Mr. Hooper used the veil to symbolize the evil natures that all human beings try to hide.
In the short story The Minister's Black Veil Nathaniel Hawthorne is explaining how mankind is afflicted by the seven sins. The officer of the church is ring the town bell calling all the people of the village to church, when the church sexton sees Mr. Hooper leave his house he stops ring the bell. The people of the town don't like the Hoopers change in appearance they think that he has lost his sanity and no one walks on the side of the street he lives on. Later in the story the their is a funeral for a young woman and the town people think that's why Hooper is wearing the Black veil “for his own secret sins”. The young minister asks Hooper to remove the veil as Hooper is dying. Hooper is brought to his grave, “Many years pass, and grass
Author Nathaniel Hawthorne fabricates a new image of the life lived by Christian Protestant during 1836 Puritanism. The story “The Minister’s Black Veil” takes place in a small Puritan community where sin is greatly looked down upon and the only way into eternal life in heaven is to do onto others good deeds. At the beginning of the story everyone turns their heads to look as Reverend Hooper walks up to his pulpit wearing all but one item to be thought as normal. Everyone living in America today can relate to how it feels to be different than the greater society. Looking back at Puritan communities it was even worse and very consequential to be out of the ordinary. Corresponding with discrimination of divergence and belief in society today, the marvellous black veil cloaked upon Reverend Hooper’s disturbed face stands as a mirror, as it resembles a looking glass reflecting on those who have sinned themselves but are incapable of seeing it. “Such was the effect of this simple piece of crape, that more than one woman of
There are two areas where I can find a connection between “The Minister’s Black Veil” and American Romanticism. One is the importance of individual freedom in the sense that each person has the right to choose for himself. In the short story, Reverend Hooper chooses ro wear a black veil over his face for the rest of his life.
"I look around me, and, lo! on every visage a Black Veil!" In the story, Mr. Hooper tells his fiance, Elizabeth, that it is a symbol, but he doesn't say what. I think that Mr. Hooper wore the veil for his own personal sin, not to burden the townspeople. The quote I just put was his last words before he died. The meaning of it was him saying that everyone has their own sin, and just because someone isn't physically wearing veil doesn't mean that they don't already have one inside of them. Others would say that Mr. Hooper was a hyprocite and that he pretends to be holy but he's really just a devil. I argue with that. The whole moral of the story to me, was that everyone has their own personal sin. Just because you're a minister doesn't mean that you don't have any.
They also seek to show how this facade separates and alienates you from society, peers, reality, and spirituality. " 'Have patience with me, Elizabeth!' cried he, passionately. 'Do not desert me, though this veil must be between us here on earth. Be mine, and hereafter there shall be no veil over my face, no darkness between our souls! It is but a mortal veil--it is not for eternity! O! You know not how lonely I am, and how frightened, to be alone behind my black veil. Do not leave me in this miserable obscurity forever!' 'Lift the veil but once, and look me in the face,' said she.'Never! It cannot be!' replied Mr. Hooper." " 'Tremble also at each other! Have men avoided me, and women shown no pity, and children screamed and fled, only for my black veil? What, but the mystery which it obscurely typifies, has made this piece of crape so awful? When the friend shows his inmost heart to his friend; the lover to his best beloved; when man does not vainly shrink from the eye of his Creator, loathsomely treasuring up the secret of his sin; then deem me a monster, for the symbol beneath which I have lived, and die! I look around me, and, lo! On every visage a Black Veil!' "
Hardly anyone would have sympathy for Mr. Hooper because it seems crazy to be wearing a veil especially for a man or a parson. And it is hard to get some logical reasons why Mr. Hooper got a veil on his face. One couple seeing the veil judged: “’How strange,’ said a lady, ‘that a simple black veil, such as any woman might wear on her bonnet, should become such a terrible thing on Mr. Hooper’s face!’”. People in the town could not find out why Mr. Hooper is covering up his face. Goodman Gray of the sexton when saw Parson Hooper said: “’Are you sure it is our parson?’”. The story tell us what the people think about the veil: “But that piece of crap, to their imagination, seemed to hang down before his heart, the symbol of a fearful secret between him and
At the outset of the tale, “The Minister’s Black Veil,” the sexton is tolling the church bell and simultaneously watching Mr. Hooper’s door, when suddenly he says, ``But what has good Parson Hooper got upon his face?'' The surprise which the sexton displayed is repeated in the astonishment of the onlookers: “With one accord they started, expressing more wonder. . .” The reason is this: “Swathed about his forehead, and hanging down over his face, so low as to be shaken by his breath” is a black veil. The 30 year old, unmarried parson receives a variety of reactions from his congregation:
If we take “The Minister’s Black Veil” as a horror story, it leads us to certain conclusions about the nature of the veil and Hooper’s refusal to take it off. If horror is something that centers upon the horrifying or macabre, especially concerning the supernatural, one can see that this story could belong. Hooper never divulges the exact nature of the veil, and we are left to speculate about what it could possibly mean. Several possibilities present themselves if we think of this story as a horror story; it could be that the veil is covering Hooper’s face to be a constant reminder to his congregation and all who see him of secret sin. It seems that the idea that he could possibly know someone’s secret sin is terrifying to the townspeople. Indeed, this veil does give Hooper “awful power over souls that were in agony for sin” (943). Sinners fear him, because they feel that the black veil is a reference to their own personal secret sins. And the veil gives him an association with the dead and ghostly qualities; after the girl’s funeral at the beginning of the story, one woman remarks that she thought she saw Hooper walking hand in hand with the ghost of the dead girl. Such things would not have been imagined if he had never donned the veil.