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The Minister's Black Veil

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Koria Johnson

on 23 October 2013

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Transcript of The Minister's Black Veil

The Minister's Black Veil
Plot Diagram
Conflict: There is an external conflict between the minister and his congregation because of the fact that the black veil doesn't "meet" their needs and expectations. This results in the congregation trying to discover the meaning of the black veil. There is also an internal conflict within Minister Hooper that demonstrates the effects of the "secret sin" he committed.
Exposition: Reverend Hooper appears in the town with a black veil covering his face and the rumor spreads throughout the townspeople as they question why he is wearing the covering over his face.
Rising Action:
The minister becomes an outcast
Reverend Hooper gives a rousing sermon to his parishioners
T he minister appears at a funeral, the woman's corpse seems to shudder at his black veil
performed a gloomy wedding ceremony
The minister's fiancee Elizabeth leaves the minister because he would not tell her the truth about the black veil and told her he will live the remainder of his life with it on
Characteristics of Romanticism
"With this gloomy shade before him, good Mr. Hooper walked onward, at a slow and quiet pace, stooping somewhat, and looking on the ground, as is customary with abstracted men, yet nodding kindly to those of his parishioners."
Hawthorne's use of dark words in this quote is a characteristic of Romanticism.
The repetitive use of the phrase; "secret sin."
Hawthorne doesn't tell us why the Minister is wearing the black veil but he hints that it is because of sin. This reveals Hawthorne's belief that humans had a "dark side" which could only be revealed by guilt or sin.
"The black veil, though it cover only our pastor's face, throws its influence over his whole person, and makes him ghostlike from head to foot. Do you not feel so?"
Symbolism is a major characteristic of Romanticism. The black veil symbolizes death.
"This dismal shade must separate me from the world: even you, Elizabeth, can never come behind it."
Due to the fact that Mr. Hooper is aware of his sin, he feels guilt and doesn't want to show his face to others.
Hawthorne's Style
uses a dark romantic style
focus on themes of sin and guilt
Hawthorne's syntax is lengthy and wordy
Hawthorne uses figurative language through symbolism and metaphors to emphasize a point and teach a lesson.
For example, the black veil represented the sin of each person and the reality of how many would not tell others of their wrongdoings throughout The Minister's Black Veil
uses long descriptions to aid in this process
vocabulary tends to be higher-level, repetitive, old-English
Hawthorne uses a 3rd person point-of-view in the selection in order to be seen as an observer of what is taking place
allows readers to know details about each character
Hawthorne's tone could be described as sincere, meloncholy, passionate, or scornful
The first paragraph of the text the tone is playful and carefree, but when the Reverend emerges the tone shifts to a darker side with peaks of anger and resentment occasionally.
"For the Earth too, had on her black veil" personifies the Earth to show it is night and that everyone is enveloped by sin
The Minister's Black Veil
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Themes and Other Works of Literature/ Art
Hawthorne's themes in The Minister's Black Veil mimic those in The Scarlet Letter. Hawthorne's use of hidden sin and psychological affects of the sinner are common in both stories. Hawthorne also uses symbolism, in examples such as the veil and the scarlet letter. Both stories also include the ridicule by others for an individual's actions or penance and the basis of the Puritan religious beliefs.
Smith, Nicole. "Full Summary and Analysis of “The Minister’s Black Veil” by Nathaniel Hawthorne." Article Myriad. N.p., 6 Dec. 2011. Web. 21 Oct. 2013.
Lorcher, Trent. "The Minister's Black Veil" Analysis & Summary." Bright Hub Education. Ed. S. Forsyth. N.p., 20 Jan. 2012. Web. 21 Oct. 2013.
Caroll, Heather. "Nathaniel Hawthorne: Biography, Works, and Style." Education-portal. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2013.
Caroll, Heather. "The Romantic Period in American Literature and Art." Education-portal. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2013.
(implied hanging indents and italicized websites)
Plot Diagram
Climax: As the minister begins to weaken the townspeople and Reverend Mr. Clark attempt to remove the his veil while he is on his death bed. However, the minister fights back, refusing to remove the veil with his last breath and energy.
Falling Action: Hooper tells the parishioners they are all sinners
passed away
Resolution: Reverend Hooper was buried with the veil still on his face
Romanticism (cont'd)
Minister Hooper never removed his veil and was bold enough to call other's sinners like himself, this led to the example of a common hero willing to stand up against his peers.
"every visage a Black Veil"
During Hooper's sermons the parishioners were able to use their imaginations, a key element of romanticism, to create an image of what the minister was saying and escape daily life.
" in the imagination of the auditors...the most powerful effort"
The minister took much upon himself and was the only one wearing the veil. He was very humble and was able to see the worst in others so he could help them. This demonstrates individuality and the burden of sin.
"He walked continually in his own shadow" & "enabled him to sympathize with all dark affections"
Full transcript