Essay on Symbolism In The Veil

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Symbolism In The Veil The veil that the minister wears in "The Ministers Black Veil", by Nathanial Hawthorne represents the emphasis on man's inner reality, and those thoughts and feelings which are not immediately obvious. As Hawthorne explored this inner nature, he found the source of dignity and virtue, and certain elements of darkness. When the minister first walks out of his home wearing the veil, everyone is astonished. This one man in this village decides to be a nonconformist and wear this veil without explanation. No one understands why the minister would wear such a veil for no reason at all. This is where all the assumptions begin to linger. All of the villagers have a story for why the veil is there. These people are…show more content…
Yet perhaps the pale- faced congregation was almost as fearful a sight to the minister, as his black veil to them. (1281) In reality the veil represents the secrets everyone is hiding within themselves. The unifying theme is the conflict between the dark, hidden side of man and the standards imposed by his puritanical heritage. Hawthorne brings evil and unauthorized desire into the way of puritan life, and in so doing suggests a insightful truth that is disturbing in its implication, that is to say that we can never hope to know each other's true selves. The themes in the story are suggested by the veil-symbol, the tension between the minister and the community. Every person has something to hide from the world. The veil is symbolic for the cover up of peoples secrets. Although most people would not wear a veil, the minister is proving a point. By wearing a simple black veil Mr. Hooper is making all the villagers evaluate their everyday actions in life. The symbolic value of the black veil lies in the physical and mental dilemma that it creates between the minister and his environment, and the guilt it conveys. Many people believe that the face provides information about a person's primary characteristics, therefore, predicting a persons possible behavior. As a result, by
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