Nathaniel Hawthorne Ministers Black Veil Compare

777 Words4 Pages
The Minister’s Black Veil Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts, on July 4, 1804, into the sixth generation of his family. His family background especially affected his imagination and writing career. The Hathornes had been involved in religious harassment with their first ancestor. Another ancestor, John Hathorne, was one of the three judges at the 17th century Salem witchcraft trials, where many of people were accused, and later executed for being witches. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s field was so intensely local that only those who are familiar with it can appreciate him. Almost any reader can read Hawthorne’s stories, his stories persist with New England Puritan of the 17th century, a very abnormal hero, and to enjoy the novelist one must have some personal interest in his subject. Furthermore, he alienates many readers by presenting only the darker side of Puritanism. He is a man who never laughs and seldom smiles. Some of these symbolic tales are too vague or shadowy to be convincing. In "The Minister's Black Veil,” a clergyman startles his worshippers by appearing with a dark veil over his face. The veil itself is a recognizable object; on a woman or a bonnet it would pass unnoticed; but on the minister it becomes a noteworthy thing, at once fascinating and repellent. They knew the man as a familiar friend; today he is a stranger, and they fear him with a vague, nameless fear. Many years he wears the mysterious article, dies and is buried with him, and in all that time they never have a glimpse of his face. Though there is a deal of nonsense in the story, and hocus-pocus instead of a mystery, we must remember that veil as a striking symbol of the loneliness of life, of the gulf that separates a human soul from every other. A clue to understanding this story may lie in an incident from Hawthorne’s own life. After the death of his Hawthorne’s father,
Open Document