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The Scarlet Letter vs. The Minister's Black Veil

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Sebastian Esquivel

on 15 December 2014

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Transcript of The Scarlet Letter vs. The Minister's Black Veil

Characters
Aspects of Puritan Society
Scarlet Letter
Theme Quotes
Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter vs. The Minister's Black Veil

Scarlet Letter
vs. Minister's Black Veil
Dimmesdale and Mr. Hooper
Hester Prynne and Mr. Hooper
Themes
Scarlet Letter
vs. Minister's Black Veil
Isolation
Hypocrisy
The purpose of Mr. Hooper's black veil is for the people of the town to confess their sins through examination of their spiritual self. However, they believe that the black veil must be hiding something and rather focus their attention on that than observing the true message of the minister's black veil. Comparatively, the scarlet letter functions in the same manner, to portray the message of universal sin, however the citizens of Boston only focus on the sin of Hester Prynne.
Hester Prynne faced the punishment of wearing the scarlet letter "A" throughout the Puritan society of Boston. This served as a constant reminder of her past sin and impurity. Hester faced discrimination for her sin and as a result was isolated from society after being deemed impure. Being solely focused on the sin of Hester, the citizens of Boston forgot about their own faults/sins. In the Minister’s Black Veil, Mr. Hooper did also face public isolation. Many citizens disassociated themselves with Mr. Hooper and his fiance even left him.
Dimmesdale is the wearer of the Scarlet Letter in secret. He reveals to the public the true reality of the scarlet letter and how the public should not be judgemental nor discriminating towards Hester for her past sin. Everyone is a sinner and not pure as their religious beliefs instruct them to be.
Mr. Hooper wears the black veil as a symbol for whatever sin he may have committed. His sin is not revealed, nor is the black veil taken off in the story, but Mr.Hooper explains that the black veil should be taken as a sign for self evaluation of the spirit. Everyone sins, but only some are able to reveal it to the public.
Hester Prynne's scarlet letter isolates her from Puritan society by causing public humiliation and others having rather harsh opinions about her. Similar to the Scarlet Letter, his black veil isolates him from society and many ideas circulate in the minds of those who see Mr. Hooper with regards to what he is hiding. Both are symbols of outward appearance and in both cases, focus shifts towards their unique symbol rather than the message that it attempts to convey.
Minister's Black Veil
Character Quotes
Scarlet Letter
Minister's Black Veil
Minister's Black Veil
Puritan Society Quotes
Scarlet Letter
Minister's Black Veil
In Puritan Society, adulterers would actually have to wear scarlet letter "A". Public humiliation would be brought upon them similarly to that which was brought upon Hester. Puritans would feel little to no remorse about administering punishment, believing in Old Testament methods. Isolation would also be brought upon them such as in the Minister's Black Veil.
"... he made the manner of his death a parable, in order to impress on his admirers the mighty and mournful lesson that, in the view of Infinite Purity, we are sinners all alike." (236)

By: Sebastian Esquivel
"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 foot."

The message of the scarlet letter is reveled. It explains that everyone is a sinner, but only those brave enough to publicly acknowledge were Hester and Dimmesdale. There shouldn't be any judgements or critiques made in regards to someone's one specific sin, especially if you are someone guilty of sin.
Shows how the black veil does more than simply cover his face from the world. It changes who the people believe is behind the veil, as ideas and assumptions continue to circulate. The veil has an impact over Mr. Hooper's entire person and can be said to define Mr. Hooper's character.
"But Hester Prynne, with a mind of native courage and activity, and for so long a period not merely estranged, but outlawed...The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread." (197)
The one sin caused by Hester has caused her alienation from society, however that does not prove to be a decisive aspect of her character because Hester accepts her discrimination and forces the best from it to become a socially accepted person of Boston by the end of the novel.
"How strange...that a simple black veil, such as any woman might wear on her bonnet, should become such a terrible thing on Mr. Hooper's face!"
The townspeople are hypocritical in how they assume so much out from Mr. Hooper wearing a black veil over his face, but would expect nothing of it if a woman wore that on her bonnet.
The Puritan faith believes that some members are "saved" within their lives and others are forced to suffer through life. Those who are forced in suffering through life, are those who are put on display for public wrongdoing such as Hester and Mr. Hooper. Both characters are those who "suffer", but are not the only ones who commit wrongdoing to begin with.
"She hath good skill at her needle, that's certain... and make a pride out of what they, worthy gentlemen, meant for punishment?" (47)
The women of the town certainly are not fond of Hester for her sin nor are they fond of her supposedly rude and brash behavior. However, they do not make too much fuss over it because they believe that her punishment will be enough.
"But, even amid his grief, Mr. Hooper smiled to think that only a material emblem had separated him from happiness, though the horrors, which it shadowed forth, must be dawn darkly between the fondest of lovers."
Mr. Hooper can be seen as similar to those who suffer in their lifetime, but also one who is saved. There are clear signs of his life being dramatically shifted, however he does not allow for that to show in his demeanor. Instead Mr. Hooper continues with his head held high.
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