preview

The Minister's Black Veil Romanticism

Better Essays
The short story “The Minister’s Black Veil” by Nathaniel Hawthorne follows the minister Mr. Hooper whose simple change in appearance alters the very nature of his existence in society till his death. While his decision to begin to wear a black veil over his face ostracizes him from society, it also turns him into a more influential clergyman. With the symbolism of the black veil and in a somber tone, Hawthorne makes a statement on the involvement of society in personal matters and the “black veil” that is present over the heart of every man, making the point that everyone is guilty of being sinful.
“The Minister’s Black Veil” was first published in 1832 and was written during the American Romantic time period. Romanticism was a time period where emotion and beliefs were valued over reason and facts. Nathaniel Hawthorne can be seen as a writer of “Dark Romanticism,” a sub genre of Romanticism with a fascination with horrific themes and the exploration of the psychological effects of sin and guilt, and where the writers focused on judgement, punishment, and self-destruction. Hawthorne’s use of this style of writing sets the tone of the work as a observation of the nature of sin.
Set in the New England town of Milford, the short story takes place in a Puritan society. Historically, Puritan towns were generally close-knit communities. In “The Minister’s Black Veil,” society holds a very heavy presence. When Mr. Hooper first appears in public with a black veil “swathed about his
Get Access