The Story of Black Veil

The Minister’s Black Veil is a short story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1832. The story begins on Sunday, which is the day of praying to God for Christians or Sabbath day. The story is set in the town of Milford somewhere in England. This place is a small town and the protagonist is famous or is known as an essential person. The protagonist of this short story is Mr. Hooper, a minister in Milford. Everything begins with Mr. Hooper’s wearing a black veil. The people in the report are Puritans. Nathaniel Hawthorne criticizes the Puritans at that time.

The black veil represents Mr. Hooper’s secret sin. This sin isn’t known throughout the whole story and, it remains a secret. Mr. Hooper who is loved and respected by the people who come to church might want to show his sin and to face people their sins. Mr. Hooper’s stubbornness not to get rid of the black veil pushes people to be afraid of him and to think that he committed a deadly sin. Therefore, Mr. Hooper is excluded from society. Whereas he is a well-respected person in Milford. Only a black piece of cloth over his face takes him away from people. Because of people’s behavior towards him, even though he hates this situation, he never gives up. Even his plighted wife Elizabeth leaves him in those hard times. This alienation affects him mentally and physically. He is suffering in both ways. Despite people’s behavior, he keeps his dignity and he smiles at people, though painfully when he meets people on the road or anywhere. Moreover, he continues to affect people with his effective speech while preaching. He cannot look at mirrors after the black veil frightfully captures and covers his soul when he sees himself looking at the glass. He is isolating himself from the world and people. So to say, his soul is burying in the black veil. This black veil is his secret sin. He wants to reflect his deadly sin to people or to live with a black veil to pay for his deadly sin. He may be unable to bring himself to sin, although he is a minister. Most people commit sin and hide it or go to the minister and tell him. But most do not know each other’s sins. When Mr. Hooper reflects his sin outward, people are scared of Mr. Hooper with the black veil.

Consequently, everyone wears this black veil. So, everybody is a sinner but they hide this. Mr. Hooper chooses to live with his deadly sin. People may think he is the only sinner because of the black veil, but that is not real. They just hide their sins from each other. Whereas the minister Mr. Hooper is a courteous and well-respected person. Therefore, people are uncomfortable seeing that black veil. However, all people wear a black veil, but they cannot see that.