PRE.AP ENGLISH 10-3
APRIL 10TH 2014
“The Ministers Black Veil”
Thesis: Paul Zweig’s analysis about Edgar Allen Poe’s work can apply to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s work as well because they both wrote gothic literature that addressed America’s dread of personal failure in the 1800’s.
“The Minister’s Black Veil’ shows a fear of personal failure and unhappiness in relationships. Mr. Hooper a gentlemanly friendly man about thirty, though still a bachelor, was dressed with due clerical neatness, as if a careful wife had starched his band, and brushed the weekly dust from his Sunday’s garb (Hawthorne 472). The town’s people looked to be confused that the person “Mr. Hooper” was wearing a black veil. The veil had two folds of crape, which entirely concealed his features except the mouth and chin, but did not intercept his sight; farther than to give a darkened aspect to all living and inanimate objects (Hawthorne 472). As Mr. Hooper entered the church the congregation was as fearful a sight to the minister as his black veil was to them (Hawthorne 472). The Sermon Mr. Hooper gave was the most powerful effort they heard from the pastor. A subtle power was breathed into his words. Each member of the congregation, the innocent girl and the man of hardened breast, felt as if the preacher had crept upon them, behind his awful veil discovered their hoarded iniquity of deed or thought (Hawthorne 473).
“How strange” said a lady that a simple black veil, such as any women might wear on her bonnet, should become such a terrible thing on Mr. Hooper’s face (Hawthorne 474). The black veil put a burden on all three of the services Mr. Hooper had been to. The wedding portrayed nothing but evil on the handsomest couple in all of Millford. The funeral left a deep gloom on the minister. The Sunday service confused Millford because the minister was wearing a black veil. After the wedding, the next day the town of Millford talked of little else than Parson Hooper’s...