Usually when someone attends church, there is a feeling of peace that your sins are forgiven and you are clean in the eyes of God. The minister is there as moral support and guidance for those who had sinned and want to get back right with God. He takes the pressure off the sinner and then carries it himself as the leader of the church. As converted sinners become one with God they sometimes forget the sins they once committed. In “The Minister’s Black Veil,” a simple piece of cloth changes the Minister’s image to fellow villagers. Hawthorne tells the tale using a melancholy tone causing readers to analysis what sin the Minister is shielding his eyes from.
Throughout the story Minister Hooper image changes from wholesome loving minister to the face of sin in the eyes of the community. This begins at his first appearance with the black veil. He walks through the village to the meeting house and is speculated that he had obviously “gone mad,” by one of the parishioners (p45). They assumed that something awful had happened to Minister Hooper causing him to hide his face. Even though he was admired before, because he changed his appearance he was obviously not the same humble person. The reaction of the villagers shows that people’s perception of you is more of what is displayed on the outside and less of who you are on the inside. His change in wardrobe caused his image to be distorted to the community.
During his sermon, he speaks about “secret sin and those mysteries which we hide from our nearest, dearest, and would fain conceal from our own consciousness, even forgetting that Omniscient can detect them,”(p46). By him choosing this topic the Minister added to the mystery of what awful sin did he commit that caused him to shield his face. When the service comes to a close the villagers hurry out and begin to gossip about how strange the Minister has become. No one treated him with wholeheartedly as before because of the veil. This is shown when the Squire neglects to invite him to bless the food as he does every Sunday. Even though his personality did not change or his tone he had become an outsider in the community. The adults did not know what to make of him; this show with a discussion when a woman expresses how something as simple as a veil is seen as an omen on the Ministers face. The physician of the village then says “Something must surely be amiss with Mr. Hooper’s intellect. But the strangest part of the affair is the effect of this vagary, even on a sober-man like myself,”( p47). The physician assumes that Mr. Hooper may have suffered from a mental break down that is causing him to wear the veil and speak of secret sin and how God is the only one that knows in his sermon. Everyone instead of simply asking what happened to him they instead withdrew from him and came up with their own assumption. It goes without notice that his behavior is still the same he blessed the kids as usual and spoke to his fellow villagers, even though he barely received any response back. The focus is only of his appearance and this is expressed when the physician continue and says “The black veil, though it covers only our pastor’s face, throws its influence over his whole person, and makes him ghostlike from head to toe,”(p47).
Later that evening a funeral was taking place for a young girl. The family and friends all assembled at the house, where they all talked of how unfortunate it is that the young passed. When Minister Hooper walked all the talk ceased and everyone takes notice that his is still wearing the black veil only this time it is in the proper setting. He steps into the next room and bends over the dead parishioner and says his last goodbye, while doing so his veil hangs straight down from his forehead so that he and the deceased girl, if her eyes weren’t closed, would be eye to eye. An old lady that watch the Minister witnessed that it appeared that while his features were hidden “the corpse had slightly…