An Analysis of the primary Symbol in The Ministers Black Veil, a brief story by Nathaniel Hawthorne

An Analysis of the primary Symbol in The Minister's Black Veil, a brief story by Nathaniel Hawthorne


The strongest symbolic part in The Minister's Black Veil is the dark veil, which signifies a ability that minister possesses to make the parishioners think vulnerable. The black veil strikes dread into a big most the minister’s parishioners, who immediately believe he can expose their iniquities. Nathaniel Hawthorne writes, “Each person in the congregation, the most innocent female, and the person of hardened breasts, felt as if the preacher acquired crept after them, behind his awful veil, and uncovered their hoarded iniquity of deed or idea. Many spread their clasped hand on the bosoms. There is nothing terrible in what Mr. Hooper stated at least, no violence; yet with every tremor of his melancholy tone of voice the hearers quaked.”(Web page 3) The extreme evaluation between “the virtually all innocent girl” and “the person of the hardened breasts” demonstrates that many people are affected; “they feel like the preacher has crept upon them” and “various clasped their practical their bosoms”, illustrating that the preacher has said something disturbing. The shocked visitors seems he can expose their “hoarded iniquities.” Mr. Hooper’s melancholy tone makes the parishioners think uneasy, although he provides said “nothing horrible.” The tremor in his tone of voice exacerbates their dread.


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