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The Minister's Black Veil is a piece of literature by Nathaniel Hawthorne that uses the symbolic aspect of the Black Veil to catch the interest of the readers. That has been objectively referred to in a variety of ways that explain the disparity between biblical ethics of church leadership and sin-folding practices. The story objectively explores the myths that there is something secret about the precious "veil," which Hooper wears in order to deliver a warning to the church. There is another analysis of the veil that not only hides the wear’s face but also expresses the real character that exists in the world. Hooper being a minister of the Puritan, it has a full realization of the importance of being a Calvinist theology that he speaks about and express an idea of fate. The arbitrary of destiny is that God distinguishes people in two groups that one of them are the “elect” people who are considered to receive the glory of heaven and the others who are deemed eternity damnation. Thus, the belief of distinction done by the decree of the divine cannot be altered by a man on the ultimate fate. However, the most worrying aspect of theology is that it is hard to determine whether an individual belongs to the membership of the elect or otherwise. Therefore, it is imperative to identify how and what are the factors that can lead an individual to be in the choice of their desire.
There is a different way that the preoccupation with the eternal purpose cuts off the participation of joys of the world around individuals. That is evident when Hooper was struggling with the worries about the salvation where that beginning symbolizes the moment when he put the Veil. “He has changed himself into something awful, only by hiding his face" (Hawthorne, 1253). Thus, after the situation, he views the world in a different perspective in regards to the eternal destiny. There is isolation created by the existence of the veil. As a result, critics have always been on the opposing wrong side (Tompkins, 630). Their imagination is to try ways to have a penetration in the mystery instead of looking it in an angle of Hooper considers the Veil. Further, it shows that it is neither a means of communicating any message to the congregation nor a representation of fault found in Hooper.
The description of the black veil shows some weaknesses that are evident in three distinct trends. They include that veil is viewed as what made some specific crimes, which Hooper committed. Similarly, it is also recognized as the embodiment of where sin originated. Moreover, it is the tendency of humans to go against the laws of God, and the Veil showing a signal of excessive pride that Hooper has (Stein, 390). The first trend is the case where Edger Allan Poe made an announcement that somewhat the successfully that he had identified the mystery of “the Minister’s Black Veil.” It reflected shame for the illegal relationship that was there between him and the young woman whose funeral is explained in the story. “The minister and his maiden’s spirit were walking hand in hand" (Hawthorne, 1255). The declaration of Poe was about the superstition about the report of the old woman about the corpse of the dead girl when Hooper came near, meant a warning from the mourners had a relationship.
The second trend had an interpretation that takes a cue from the statement of the deathbed of Hooper on the matter regarding the sermon he delivered when he was wearing the veil. They represent the secret sin that men carry in their hearts (Carnochan, 185). It suggests that the wearing of the veil by Hooper is to inform the parishioners by reminding them of what the guilt they have a stain on everyone and the weakness that each of them has in hiding their sins from themselves and between God. “In this manner, Mr. Hooper spent a long life, that irreproachable in outward act, yet it shrouded in dismal suspicion about kind and loving, though unloved, and feared; a man apart from men…" (Hawthorne, 1259). However, the intention of Hooper may be to communicate the message to the congregation, which he would do better than what he does. However, he holds it to himself until he reached his deathbed to talk about it. The significance of wearing the veil in the short period may be simply a direct message on the fact that he does not affirm the congregation on the originality of the sin. As a result, he does not have to follow the course but realizes the strict interpretation of the theory of Calvinist by confessing that have one sin does not have an effect on the predestined course.
The third trend is the interpretation that is relatively related to the second one. However, it has an assumption of the fact that Black Veil was meant to have a communication message on the individuals from the parish. It, therefore, symbolizes that the sin of Hooper was pride when he continues wearing it and thought that he was the superior in conveying the message (Ferris, 385). It makes a connection between the two levels by meaning that the first one is to call the attention of the truth in the proneness that sin concealment is evident. In the second trend, it is the demonstration of the minister’s sin in demonstrating the importance as the irony that absorbs the first theme.
Conclusively, this tale by Hawthorne has the moral message describing the symbolic nature of the veil that in the case can be traced only until his death. That is the analysis of how the veil not only hide the wear’s face but as well describe an expectation of the real character exhibited to the world. Hooper being a minister realizes that there is an importance of being a Calvinist theology and speaks on how to express an idea of fate. The arbitrary of destiny is that God has put a group of elect people who are believed to receive the glory of heaven and the other who will follow to the eternity damnation. A difference in the way the preoccupation of the eternal purpose cuts across those who participate in the joyous world around individuals. It evidently describes how Hooper struggles with the doubt about his salvation where it symbolizes the beginning of the moment when he put the Veil. He finally realizes that it is worth to have a moral message about this veil but is not disclosed until he dies.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Minister's Black Veil. Booklassic, New York: 2015.
Tompkins, Jane. "Masterpiece Theater: The Politics of Hawthorne's literary reputation." American Quarterly 36.5 (1984): 617-642.
Stein, William Bysshe. "The Parable of the Antichrist in" The Minister's Black Veil." American Literature (1955): 386-392.
Carnochan, W. B. "The Minister's Black Veil": Symbol, Meaning, and the Context of Hawthorne's Art." Nineteenth-Century Fiction 24.2 (1969): 182-192.
Ferris, David. "Morality without Intention: Benjamin’s Goethe and Hawthorne’s “The Minister’s Black Veil.”" Critical Horizons 14.3 (2013): 380-406.
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