The Minister’s Black Veil – Nathaniel Hawthorne

Minister's Black Veil

Minister’s Black Veil

Minister’s Black Veil has a lot of prejudices and suspense throughout the story. This short story is a parable and there are many times when Father Hooper says something, he uses word like ‘if’ or ‘perhaps’. It seems there is significance in every word he said.

“If it be a sign of mourning,” replied Mr. Hooper, “I, perhaps, like most other mortals, have sorrows dark enough to be typified by a black veil.”

The way the focalizer describe Father Hooper as a man that rare to talk and to interact with people shows that he has something hidden. Perhaps it has a relation with the reason why he wears a black veil, the black veil that he wears references to secret sin and has a special meaning that no one knows and he tries to conceal his sin from people surround him. When he looks his reflection on the glass, he feels horrible. It shows that Mr. Hooper afraid of his own shadow with the black veil hang on, because it presents the guilty feeling of his sins. Sin is related to death and everybody afraid of death in common. But in the story itself, the thing he tries to hide is never been revealed. Until his death he still not cast away the black veil. It shows how strong he wants to keep his secret sin and there is a deep meaning of the veil.

Instead of try to understand and to accept Father Hooper, people have prejudices against him. Perhaps because Father Hooper actually represents the real people as a human being, the black veil is a symbol which represents the sins in this story, sins that make a huge distance between people with others and people with God. People usually hide their bad deed or thought because they don’t want people judge and avoid them based on their mistakes.

Minister’s Black Veil tells something more than a story. It has a special perspective of sin that covered the whole story. The point of view is through the third person’s eye (covert) which is limited. The story is represented by the parishioner’s side. We pretend being one of them. So we can see many versions of reason, opinion, and prejudice about Mr. Hooper’s vagary. It also cause the story is never untangled and has no resolution because there are problems every time Father Hooper starts to speak. He rare to make a conversation but the veil shows everything. It makes the people are grope for the proper answer what is behind his veil throughout the story. There are many questions pop up in the story but never be really answered. The story continues from one to another analysis.

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