The theme of Sin and Guilt in The Minister's Black Veil
In Hawthorne’s The Minister’s Black Veil, every single person does sin but only the people who are truly God-fearing and confident accept and pay the consequences of their own actions. In some, predicaments, when someone does own up to their sin and endure the discipline for it, instead of being forgiven the society around will hate them. Back then, the Puritans accepted their minister’s to be the holiest people.
If a minister acts strange then they are suspected of doing something shameful or unholy, the community will then resent him. In The Minister’s Black Veil, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Reverend Hooper’s separation represented through the black veil, shows how everyone surrounding him was judgmental, insensitive, and hypocritical.
The Minister’s Black Veil is a symbolic of the private sins that we bury and isolate ourselves from the ones we love the most. In wearing the veil minister Hooper shows the loneliness that everybody goes through when they are tied up by their own sins. He has realized that everyone typically can be found in the shade of their own veil. By Hooper wearing this veil across his face is only displaying the dark side of people and the accuracy of human existence and nature.
Minister Hooper left the dark veil on because he has noticed that secret sin is a veil that can never disappear from anyone until the day of their death. In a quote from the story Mr. Hooper says, There is an hour to come, when all of us shall cast aside our veils. Take it not amiss, beloved friend, if I wear this piece of crepe till then. By saying this Mr. Hooper symbolizes the feeling although human beings are living on the earth a veil shows their face. Hooper made a pledge to himself and made a life project of acting as a mirror to the people around him. The veil cannot be rose until the freedom of truth can be seen.
When Mr. Hooper puts the black veil on, he is no longer Mr. Hooper, he is a man that everybody is afraid of. His relationship between him and Elizabeth is destroyed because of his hesitation to remove the black veil. Elizabeth cannot accept the fact that Hooper must go the rest of his life without showing his face. After his first sermon, he did not go to old squire Saunders to bless the food, in which he did every Sunday.
As Minister Hooper is dying towards the end of the story, he is by himself and says men avoided me, and women shown no pity and children screamed and fled for my black veil? What but the mystery which it obscurely typifies has made this piece of crape so awful? When the friend shows his inmost heart to his friend, the lover to his best-beloved; when man does not vainly shrink from the eye of his Creator, loathsomely treasuring up the secret of his sin, ”then deem me a monster for the symbol beneath which I have lived and die. I look around me, and, lo! on every visage a black veil!”. The Minister points out how all the townspeople have treated him so low, overlooking their own sins and paying attention to his. But it looks as if they never truly understood, or apologized, their behavior, as the story closes with the awful thought that the minister’s face is still laying behind the veil, even in death.
The minister they had once desired for happiness and relief has become an ugly, baffling stranger that no one can recognize. The believers feel as though Minister Hooper can grasp their souls and see all the flaws and sins hidden in them. As said in the story, Each member of the congregation, the most innocent girl, and the man of most hardened breast felt as if the preacher had crept upon them, behind his awful veil, and discovered their hoarded iniquity of deed or thought. Because of his pledge, the minister is involuntarily forced into a life of loneliness, always lacking achievement and happiness. The eyes are the window to your soul, while not being able to see Mr. Hooper’s eye, the believers become anxious and annoying. The eyes make it available for others to found out your feeling and emotions. Mr. Hooper creates a tough loneliness that makes it preposterous for people to accept him.
The body is like a shell, the eyes are an open way to the real you. From the first day of the veil going onto the minister’s face everyone’s thoughts changed about him. He becomes a problem, distant and feared. Mr. Hooper hadn’t changed at all. He is the same sir with the smirk decorating his face. The only thing he did was add a simple cloth across his face and the minster they had once knew is a stranger in their eyes.
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