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The Ministers Black Veil - review

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Introduction

John Albrecht 12/10/03 The Ministers Black Veil What is it that makes a great story? Most people have different answers, including a good plot, character development, and an in depth theme. Elements such as metaphor, imagery, and symbolism are said to support these other main elements in producing a good story. In truth, what makes a story great depends on the story and what it wants to convey, as there is no set formula. If a story is about a family and its struggles, then character development and plot are likely to be the core of it. In the case of "The Ministers Black Veil", the use of imagery, symbolism, and theme enhance the greatness of the story. As a result of the acute imagery in "The Ministers Black Veil", a certain gloom and atmosphere of dread is added to the story. Most of the imagery deals directly with the black veil. ...read more.

Middle

Hooper's life that scares them, but it is the relation to their own sins that scares them. Rather than recognize the veil as such, they see it as a horrible secret of Mr. Hooper's, and shown by "But that piece of crape, to their imagination, seemed to hang down before his heart, the symbol of a fearful secret between him and them." In Mr. Hooper's deathbed speech, the lines "Why do you tremble at me alone?...Tremble also at each other...loathsomely treasuring up the secret of his sin...I look around me, and, lo!, on every visage, a black veil!", along with a general understanding of the story, show Mr. Hooper's understanding of the veil. To him, it is not about some secret of his, or some singular, horrible sin of his own, instead, it represents his sinfulness. He wears it to visually show what he knows is true, that he is not perfect, he does bad things, he sins, and that that is what makes him, and all others, human. ...read more.

Conclusion

The theme could be summed up in saying that for society and relationships to function properly, people must accept who they are, their sins, other's sins and just must portray themselves as they really are. "The Ministers Black Veil" is in no way a perfect literary work. It is certainly debatable exactly how great it is, and the outcome would depend on the standards it would be set against. An excellent characteristic of the story is certainly its ability to make the reader think and become involved in the story. Probably the most notable of the elements in this story is the symbolism. It not only portrays something to the reader, but it also means different things to the members of the story itself. It is not merely the inclusion of said elements that makes it good, for any story can have these elements. That which sets this story apart and makes it an excellent story is its excellent use of imagery and symbolism, and it meaningful theme. ...read more.

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