The Minister's Black Veil: A Paradigm Essay | Symbolism in "The Minister's Black Veil"

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Symbolism in "The Minister's Black Veil"

Summary: The veil in Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Minister's Black Veil" is a symbolic contradiction. It can be seen to represent Mr. Hooper's confession of his sins or as a way to further obfuscate them. Hooper may have used the veil to determine if Elizabeth truly loved him or to figure out who his true friends were.
The Disguise

When you wear a veil, it can be looked at in many different ways. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Minister's Black Veil," Mr. Hooper's veil is honest, sinful, and mysterious. One reader may believe the veil is used to symbolize his confession of his sins, and another reader may see it as a further obstruction to hide them.

Mr. Hooper's veil is obviously very sentimental to him. He sacrifices his engagement to a young woman named Elizabeth in order to wear his veil. It evidently stands for something he believes in. By Mr. Hooper wearing the veil, one may believe that he is showing everyone his sins. He is confessing and putting them out there for everyone to see. "The subject had reference to secret sin, and those sad mysteries which we hide from our nearest and dearest, and would fain conceal from...

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This section contains 455 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Student Essay on Symbolism in "The Minister's Black Veil"
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