The character of Reverend Hooper in The Minister's Black Veil

May 8, 2020 by Essay Writer

Sometimes in society, people criticize others for being different because of their race, religion, class, or creed. Nathaniel Hawthorne clearly shows this in the story The Minister’s Black Veil. In this story, A man named Mr.hooper, a reverend in the town of Milford, chooses to wear a black veil and his friends and family alienated because of this. Throughout The Minister’s Black Veil Nathaniel Hawthorne uses imagery to illustrates judgment, insensitive, and hypocritical in reverend hooper society surrounding him.

At the beginning of the story, Reverend Hooper has a sermon where he talks about people trying to cover their sins from the world, but God will see everyone’s sins. God will see each person for who they truly are .”Why do you tremble at me alone? Cried he, turning his veiled face round the circle of pale spectators. “Tremble also at each other”…”I look around me and, lo! On every visage a Black Veil!” (606). Reverend Hooper puts on the veil to hide from everyone so they could not see him. The veil shows that reverend hooper is hiding his sins from everyone. He wears the veil because with the veil he doesn’t have to see his dishonest face. The black curtain allows him to become “a man of awful power over souls that were in agony for sin” (604). The reverend lives a lonely and dishonorable life. It was not until he was dead that everyone around him started to understand the meaning of the black veil.

The revered hooper was alienating himself. After the wedding, he was looking at himself in the looking-glass, and the black veil involved his own spirit in the honor with which it overwhelmed all others (Hawthorne 258). The Veil covered his face from the sun and rain. It kept him from his deepest regrets and fears. The minister didn’t want to face himself and decided he didn’t want anyone else to look at his face either. The only person who seemed to see his face and understand him were lifeless corpses. As the reverend paid his respect to the dead maid the veil hung straight drown from his forehead (Hawthorne 255), and a superstitious woman claimed, the corpse had slightly shuttered (Hawthorne 255). When the reverend put the black veil over his face, he intended to keep himself from the sight of his face.

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