8 September 2013
The Minister’s Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Minister’s Black Veil portrays what is like to be judged and processed through the mind of a person who gives so much, but only receives nothing. Mr. Hooper had the reputation of a good preacher, but not an energetic one: he strove to win his people heavenward by mild, persuasive influences, rather than to drive them thither by the thunders of the word as stated in the story. The minister is judged his associates, townspeople, and eventually his love Elizabeth. The puritans are wondering what sinful thing brought about the change, and asking exactly what the minister has to hide. How can you judge another person by how they choose to live, and not look at your own reflection in the mirror? When a person is unaccustomed to something they begin to judge in their defense.
The townspeople state “… but what does the good Parson Hooper got upon his head … “, and begin to whisper rumors starting accusations of what brought about the occurrence. The Puritans state “… he has changed himself into something awful, only by hiding his face, has our Parson gone mad … “. The veil is dark and ghostlike and mysterious to the Puritans. The people are entitled to their own privacies but seem to be invading the pastor’s life. Mr. Hooper becomes the talk of the town, and the Puritans cannot help but question what secret sin lies beneath the veil.
The minister attends a funeral and wedding still shielded beneath the veil and still frightening the people. First, he attends a funeral, where the people continue to fearfully gossip that the dead woman was his late lover. The minister begins to give a toast at the wedding and ends up glancing at his reflection in a glass which causes him to see what other people have seen. As stated in the story “ … At that instant, catching a glimpse of his figure in the looking-glass, the black veil involved his own spirit in the horror with which it overwhelmed all others. His frame shuddered, his lips grew white, and…