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Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter and The Minister's Black Veil
Transcript of Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter and The Minister's Black Veil
"The Scarlet Letter"
"The Minister's Black Veil" Summary of "The Minister's Black Veil" Passage From "The Minister's Black Veil" Similarities Differences Theme Sin:
Judgement: Aspects of Puritan Societies The Scarlet Letter and the Black Veil are both outward representations of sin The societies judge Hester and Minister Hooper based on their sin The symbol of the sin becomes part of the sinner "The black veil, though it only covers our pastor's face, throws its influence over his whole person" (331)
"It is too deeply branded, Ye cannot take it off" (77) "What, but the mystery it obscurely typifies, has made this piece of crape so awful?...Deem me a monster for the symbol by which I live and die" (343) Pair Share Discuss: So far, what are some of the similarities and differences you can detect between "The Scarlet Letter" and "The Minister's Black Veil"? The congregation is assembled to hear a sermon from minister Mr. Hooper. They are surprised to see him emerge with a black veil covering his face. The town immediately begins to view him differently, as if he is hiding some deep, dark sin, even though his actions remain the same. The veil separates the minister from the community. The society is afraid and intimidated by his visual representation of sin. Mr. Hooper refuses to take off the veil, even on his deathbed because he believes that it is in God's power to remove sin, not his own. Sinners targeted to protect the rest of society from being tainted
Society revolves around the church
Supposed sinners antagonized in the stories
The societies were very judgemental of the sinners "Religion and law were almost identical" (56) Character Development "The Scarlet Letter" Hester expresses and admits her sin and is willing to take the punishments and consequences that come along with it. Because of this Hester is able to overcome her sin, learn from her mistakes, and grow as a person. "The Minister's Black Veil" Mr. Hooper admits to having a sin but keeps his sin secret, like Dimmesdale. This sin that he did not confess leads to his ruin. Mr. Hooper does not grow from his sin but instead deteriorates from it. Peer Reflection of the Symbol
When the townspeople see the veil it reminds them that they all have there own sins that they are hiding
When Dimmesdale sees Hester's scarlet letter he is reminded the he too sinned Discussion Question Do you think it is fair for society to judge Hester and Mr. Hooper based on the the symbols they wear? "Know, then, this veil is a type and a symbol, and I am bound to wear it ever, both in light and darkness, in solitude and before the gaze of multitudes, and as with strangers, so with my familiar friends, no mortal eye will see it withdrawn, the dismal shade must separate me from the world" (336) How the Symbol is Acquired "The Scarlet Letter" "The Minister's Black Veil" Hester is guilty of adultery
Her punishment his wearing a red "A" on her chest at all times to represent her sin
She does not choose to wear the symbol The minister has a some sort of deep, personal guilt
He chooses to wear a black veil to represent his sin
Voluntary Position in the Community "The Scarlet Letter" "The Minister's Black Veil" Hester is shunned and forced to live in a small, secluded house on the edge of the wilderness. She looses all credibility and respect. The minister is able to maintain his position in the church. However people become much more afraid of him. "I look around me , and lo! on every visage a Black Veil" 'There is an hour to come,' said he, 'when all of us cast aside our veils. Take it not amiss...if I wear this piece of crape till then'" (335) "With self-shudderings and outward terrors he walked continually in its shadow"(339)