The Minister's Black Veil: A Paradigm Essay

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In the following excerpt, Stibitz presents his interpretation of Hawthorne's handling of irony in the story, focusing on the Reverend Mr. Hooper's alienation from the rest of humankind.

Because Hawthorne is always very much the same and yet also surprisingly varied, one way of understanding "The Minister's Black Veil," as with any Hawthorne tale, is to read it not only as the unique work of art that it is, but as a tale comparable to others by Hawthorne, viewing it in the context of his essentially consistent thought and art as a whole. Such a reading of "The Minister's Black Veil" yields an unambiguous meaning. Hawthorne, with his usual assumption of the reality of personal evil, presents on one level his fundamental belief in man's proneness to hide or rationalize his most private thoughts or guilt. This is the "parable" (of the subtitle) that the Reverend Mr. Hooper...

(read more from the Critical Essay #4 section)

This section contains 3,219 words
(approx. 9 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Minister's Black Veil: A Paradigm Study Guide
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