5 September 2012
Literary Analysis of “The Minister’s Black Veil”
“The Minister’s Black Veil” is a story about sin and secrets. The Reverend Hooper is either mourning the death of someone or hiding a dark secret. When Mr. Hooper begins to wear the black veil he alienates himself from the congregation of his church and all those that know him. This causes tension, grief and gossip amongst the town “At the close of the services, the people hurried out with indecorous confusion, eager to communicate their pent-up amazement…some gathered in little circles, huddled closely together, with their mouths all whispering…some went homeward alone, wrapt in silent mediation; some talked loudly and profaned the Sabbath day with ostentatious laughter” (Hawthorne 29).
The Reverend Hooper is condemned to a life of depression and alienation because of the veil and is secrecy as to why he is wearing it. Elizabeth, his fiancé is the only person that does not push him away. Mr. Hooper begs Elizabeth to not leave him even after he tells her he can not remove the veil even for her “This dismal shade must separate me from the world: even you, Elizabeth, can never come behind it” (Hawthorne 33)! She tries to understand him and begs him to change his mind. He end up spending his life alone because he refused to open up to his Elizabeth “She withdrew her arm from his grasp, and slowly departed, pausing at the door, to give one long shuddering gaze, that seemed almost to penetrate the mystery of the black veil” (Hawthorne 34-35).
Mr. Hooper’s position in the community does not change. Soon he is at his deathbed still wearing the black veil. Even after Elizabeth left him she is still there at his side. Right before he passes Reverend Clark asked Mr. Hooper why he doesn’t just remove the veil and let him self be seen “the moment of your release is at hand. Are you ready for the lifting of the veil that shuts in time from eternity” (Hawthorne...