Hawthorne Essay

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Yolanda Stevenson Professor Gary H. Wilson English 2327 February 13, 2011 Living Life Through A Mask Life is a journey and as humans we encounter jubilant or miserable experiences and the key to choosing our paths is how we cope with our individual situations. Living underneath false pretenses as if masking yourself from the world can cause many people to question your credibility and sound mind. People are quick to place judgment on others due to their own inabilities of dealing with their own insecurities. Living behind a mask is also reference to living behind closed doors. In some form we all wear a mask based on how we feel on a daily basis. A mask conceals the truth from others and Nathaniel Hawthorne creatively reveals his perception through his writings, “The Minister’s Black Veil” and “The Birth Mark”. In “The Minister’s Black Veil”, Mr. Hooper is the town reverend and begins to wear a black veil which begins to raise questions in his congregation. “Swath about his forehead, and hanging down over his face, so low as to be shaken by his breath, Mr. Hooper had on a black veil.” (Hawthorne 1312) The community is clearly uncomfortable with the reverend wearing this veil as they begin to gossip and make assumptions regarding his hidden agenda. “I can’t really feel as if good Mr. Hooper’s face was behind that piece of crape,” said the sexton. “I don’t like it,” muttered an old woman, as she hobbled into the meeting-house. “He has changed himself into something awful, only by hiding his face.” “Our parson has gone mad!” cried Goodman Gray, following him across the threshold. (Hawthorne 1312). People simply do not like change and with Mr. Hooper wearing the veil made them feel insecure about covering his face because they felt like he was hiding something but the symbolic nature of the veil was a since of loss and hopelessness for Mr. Hooper. The

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