The Minister's Black Veil Analysis

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During the period of American Gothic literature, authors, such as Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe, incorporated the sinister perspective of the human nature in their writings. Both Hawthorne’s symbolic short story, “The Minister’s Black Veil”, and Poe’s violent fiction, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, demonstrate separation and symbolism throughout the course of each story. In Hawthorne’s story, the protagonist, Minister Hooper, decides to wear a black veil over his face and vows to never remove it. This vow continues to the point of his death. Mr. Hooper’s decision to wear the black veil consequently separates him from society. Hawthorne uses the veil to symbolize the human psyche and efforts to hide sins. In Poe’s story, the narrator is the caretaker of an old man with a blind eye. He describes his internal discomfort when he sees the eye, and later devises a plan to murder the old man. His separation from humanity due to the uneasy feeling of the old man’s pale, blind eye are shown through his efforts to commit murder. In Hawthorne’s “The Minister’s Black Veil”, Mr. Hooper loses human connection after he bounds himself to wear the black veil as a representation of human nature to hide sinful actions. Mr. Hooper’s refusal to remove the black veil causes the townspeople to distance themselves from him because they found his behavior odd and unnatural, including his fiancee. During Mr. Hooper and his fiancee’s argument, she continually presses him for a reason for wearing
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