The Minister’s Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne

1144 Words5 Pages
One of literatures greatest quality is allowing the reader’s mind to uncover subliminal messages in an attempt to form their own understandings and ideas. Perhaps, this particular process is commonly described in the idiom “reading between the lines.” While many writers have implanted this literary aspect into their works, this essay focuses on a specific parable written by Nathaniel Hawthorne entitled The Minister’s Black Veil. Notably, a parable is a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson. The characters and setting of which Hawthorne uses to get his point across creates an overwhelming atmosphere that increases the power of his message. An analysis of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Minister’s Black Veil offers readers an…show more content…
In this parable, Mr. Hooper gives an invisible element in sin a physical appearance in the black veil which now makes his sin a connection between himself, God, and the townspeople. It is apparent that Mr. Hooper is dealing with some sort of internal conflict and his way of confronting his issue is by covering his face from everyone with the black veil.
Lastly, there are several themes in The Minister’s Black Veil relating to topics including sin, guilt, fear, and judgment. The first theme focuses on people’s reaction to change. Soon after Mr. Hooper covers his face, people secluded themselves from him and gave him bewildered stares even after he showed them courtesy. Likewise, his wife Elizabeth left him after she failed to persuade him to abandon the black veil. The narrator also explains how Mr. Hooper created a group of converts as well as how people at their deathbed would not take their last breath until they received consolation from Mr. Hooper. Strangers began to travel from long distances just to hear his sermons and gaze at his figure. Another theme found in The Minister’s Black Veil is that people fear what they do not know and do not understand. The mystery of the black veil perhaps was the biggest thing that intimidated the townspeople. Mr. Hooper is overcome with the same horror as the townspeople when he catches a glimpse of himself. In an attempt to solve the mystery of the black veil, the townspeople past judgment and create
Open Document