The Minister 's Black Veil

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American Romanticism was a literary and artistic movement that placed emphasis on strong emotions. Emotions intensified most were ones such as horror and terror, as well as awe. In, “The Minister’s Black Veil,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the emotions of horror, terror, and awe are drawn upon throughout the story, which follows the events and reactions of the citizens of a village after their resident minister suddenly starts to wear a black veil, which invokes discomfort and fear into the people. As with many of his stories, Hawthorne developed “The Minister’s Black Veil” around a symbol, which in this case is the veil. The veil represents that even the people that seem like they have nothing to hide or be ashamed of do, just as everyone else does. Hawthorne also makes the point of saying that although people do have secrets that they wish to not make a matter of, others still do not respect their privacy, and may even go out of their way to wonder and discuss the subject of the secret, without confronting the person themselves about it. If the townspeople as a collective could be considered a ‘character,’ taking into account that they many of the mentioned individuals share the same characteristics, aside from the minister and his wife, then there are Romantic characters aside from the main ones in Hawthorne’s story. When the villagers first see the minister’s veil, one exclaims that “‘[Their] parson has gone mad,’” without taking a moment to consider any of the minister’s
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