• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"The Minister's black veil" by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a story of a life of a clergyman Hooper which leaves the reader with the feeling of sacrifice but also a sort of a personal tragedy.

Extracts from this document...


Roksana Cynert "The Minister's black veil" "The Minister's black veil" by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a story of a life of a clergyman Hooper which leaves the reader with the feeling of sacrifice but also a sort of a personal tragedy. The reader becomes acquainted with the protagonist at the crucial moment of his life, the moment in which he decides to wear a black veil on his face. The very beginning of the story is a portrait of a happy everyday life of a village - merry children are willing to make fun of a graver's gait, spruce bachelors are looking sidelong at the pretty maidens and a sexton is tolling the bell - and its light-hearted mood contrasts with that of the rest of the story. It gives us a taste of what the parson's life was like before his decision to wear his black veil, i.e. happy with the inhabitants of the city showing him the signs of respect. With the decision to wear the veil starts a period of alienation in his life. As early as after his first sermon in the veil his alienation starts: "old Squire Saunders, doubtless by an accidental lapse of memory, neglected to invite Mr. Hooper to his table, where the good clergyman had been wont to bless the food, almost every Sunday since his settlement". ...read more.


It proofs how important the veil is for Hooper but does not explain the reason for him to wear it which has to be read between the lines. The reason why parson decided to wear the black veil is revealed in his first sermon in it: "The subject had reference to secret sin, and those sad mysteries which we hide from our nearest and dearest and would fain conceal from our own consciousness, even forgetting that the Omniscient can detect them". With Hooper's decision to wear the veil he confesses the abstract fact that he is sinful. Accepting the philosophy of redemption does not change the fact. But although he is the only one who puts on "two folds of crepe" other people seem to wear it too, the only difference is that their veils are invisible. The people do not show their true faces in their everyday lives but "there is an hour to come (...) when all of us shall cast aside our veils" says Hooper in his words to Elizabeth suggesting our sins will be revealed before omniscient God during the Judgment Day. In this context the role of the veil is to act like a curtain between the parson and eternity. The task of Hooper's first sermon in the veil is to encourage the parishioners to confess they are sinful as well. ...read more.


His crucial task as a minister is to bring his congregation into full communion with God however he does not accomplish it. If wearing a black veil was to help him in achieving that, it was totally unsuccessful. Hooper is also unsuccessful in his attempt to convey an important message to his faithful. This message is revealed in his words in the deathbed "Why do you tremble at me alone? (...) Tremble also at each others (...) I look around me, and lo! on every visage a black veil!". With his words Hooper tries to indicate the fact of concealment in his community and criticize it. However, the parishioners misread the message and speculate there is something wrong with Hooper himself and groundlessly accuse him of committing a sinful deed. The black veil focuses the attention of the villagers on the person of Hooper instead of themselves. Behind the invisible veils on their faces Hooper's parishioners hide their true visages. They are barriers and obstacles in communication between people who do not show their true faces when they are together, even if they are two people who love each other (it is important to notice, that the parson does not take the veil off during the wedding nor when he talks to his beloved Elizabeth and she asks him to do so). The veil is everywhere, masks and concealment is everywhere. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Fyodor Dostoevsky section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Fyodor Dostoevsky essays

  1. Short descriptive story - the curious robot

    Now they are less than 1000 humans on the planet and they are still contracting as the humans are still destroying themselves for various reasons that robots never could understand. Before the robots were established there were more humans than there are robots now - more than 20 billion of them."

  2. Adolescence marks the turning point of an individual's life, establishing the foundation of their ...

    Unfortunately, social status is one of the most important factors in the lives of adolescents. They tend to value friendship greater than anything else. However, this causes young people to be subject to manipulation. For instance, in the short story, Norman turned his friends towards rebellion but since they felt

  1. The Black Cat

    I alone fed him, and he attended me wherever I went about the house. It was even with difficulty that I could prevent him from following me through the streets. Our friendship lasted, in this manner, for several years, during which my general temperament and character - through the instrumentality

  2. Could I Have Lived My Life Differently? : The Diary of Bigger Thomas.

    As Bigger begins his walk, his path cuts into the white residential neighborhood that is wedged in between the "Black Belt" and Drexel Boulevard. Bigger is increasingly afraid that he will be the victim of some sort of racist abuse, and when he finally reaches the front gate of the

  1. Titanic. My Story. In April of 1912, while I was on an extended trip ...

    However, like me, they suspected that something was wrong because the engines had shut down.

  2. It is extremely important when mountain walking to have the correct equipment especially when ...

    We done this for a 100m and counted how many steps we took. I took 63 steps to walk 100m. Pacing can help you figure out how long you have to walk for from a certain point. Pacing is especially good when you are walking in open ground and have

  1. The Black CatFor the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about ...

    One night, returning home, much intoxicated, from one of my haunts about town, I fancied that the cat avoided my presence. I seized him; when, in his fright at my violence, he inflicted a slight wound upon my hand with his teeth. The fury of a demon instantly possessed me.

  2. The Indestructibility of Human NatureA Comparative Analysis of the Novels We by E. Zamyatin ...

    In Zamyatin's novel each character's number name, although allocated in an unpredictable manner, in some way reflects both the physical characteristics and personality of the actual character. For every character that D-503 comes into contact with there is usually a common feature, which the character tends to be associated with,

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work