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"The Minister's Black Veil"
Transcript of "The Minister's Black Veil"
The Minister's Black Veil
Town's preacher who wore a black veil
"How strange,' said a lady, '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" ( Baym 625).
Town began to wonder why he had a veil.
Born in Massachusetts
Had a dark view of human nature
"Shut off from his followers, spending long days in reading or dreaming, or composing" (Mabie 18).
Mystery of the veil
His lover, Elizabeth pleads him to take off the veil
Elizabeth left to never see him again
1836 in New England
Religion was a prominent theme that dictated people's lives
Issues of sin
"Henry James called Nathaniel Hawthorne "the most valuable example of American genius"" (Baym 589).
Wrote with morals
Let readers interpret his work
Teenage girl dies
Mr. Hooper goes to her funeral
Views his reflection in the glass, and goes to pray
Many have suspicion that this was his secret lover
Meaning behind the veil according to Hooper
Hooper states "this veil is a type and a symbol, and I a bound to wear it ever, both in light and darkness... Elizabeth, can never come behind it! (Baym 627).
Conclusion to the Story
Years pass, Hooper is on his deathbed
Elizabeth came to ask if he would lift his veil
"Why do you tremble at me alone?... I look around me, and lo! on every visage a black veil!" (Baym 631).
Stibitz writes " Hawthorne, with his usual assumption of the reality of personal evil, presents on one level his fundamental belief in man's proneness to hide or rationalize his most private thoughts or guilt" (182).
Does that with the veil
"The Scarlett Letter"
"The Minister's Black Veil"
Q:What ways do we rationalize our "Black Veil?"
Q: Does Mr. Hopper know the truth about the girl's death?
Q: Does he feel guilty that the girl / lover died?
Baym, Nina. “The Norton Anthology of American Literature.” The Minister’s Black Veil 7.1 (2010): 622-631. Print. 18 August 2014.
Mabie, Hamilton Wright. “Nathaniel Hawthorne.” The North American Review 179.572 (1904):13-23. Web. JSTOR. 20 August 2014.
Stibitz, E. Earle. “Ironaic Unity in Hawthorne’s “The Minister’s Black Veil.” American Literature 34.2 (1962): 182-190. Web. JSTOR. 20 August 2014.