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Book Title: The Minister's Black Veil|
The author of the book: Nathaniel Hawthorne
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 8.73 MB
Edition: Acheron Press
Date of issue: September 29th 2012
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Read full description of the books The Minister's Black Veil:A good short story, for me, is one that stays with me; it is powerful and not necessarily conclusive. The ending remains open; as I'm left to perpetual ponder its meaning. It stays in my head long after it’s been read. I read this around eight months ago, and I can still remember it vividly.
Mr Hooper is the minister and he is rather boring; he neither creates love or inspiration within the hearts of his flock. He speaks in a dry monotone manner that creates nothing but tiredness and nonchalance for the listeners. One day he randomly walks into church wearing a black veil. His flock, his once bored listeners, never perceive him in the same way again.
"There was but one thing remarkable about his appearance. Swathed about his forehead, and hanging down over his face so low as to be shaken by his breath, Mr. Hooper had on a black veil. On a nearer view it seemed to consist of two folds of crape, which entirely concealed his features, except the mouth and chin, but probably did not intercept his sight, further than to give a darkened aspect to all living and inanimate things."
Naturally, his flock ask the obvious question: why is he wearing this veil? What’s he got to hide? They are utterly scandalised by the event, horrified even. They believe he has a dark sin to hide. They shun him and eventually begin to fear him although they all agree that his sermons are much more affective. Not for a single moment do they show him passion and try to understand his obscure motives; they just want to be privy to his information for their own advantage and curious minds. However, despite his pseudo-banishment from the community, they still call on him in the hour of upmost desperation: he is still their spiritual advisor. In doing so, they demonstrate the fickly nature of their own grasp on faith.
“There is an hour to come,” said he, “when all of us shall cast aside our veils. Take it not amiss, beloved friend, if I wear this piece of crape till then.”
There are many ways to take this story. Firstly, the veil can be seen as a means of dehumanising the minister, which makes him more of a religious authority rather than a mere man: he becomes the faith rather than a representative of it. Secondly, the veil can be seen as a cruel, yet stark, mirror of his congregation’s fickle souls. If the guilty, and the untrue, look at it and see darkness when there is no real evidence to suggest it, then perhaps they are the ones with something to hide. Thirdly, the veil can be seen as a cover up. The mister has committed a great evil; thus, he cannot face mankind again. It is a shield, one for his own protection and that of his fellows. Each way of reading it has strong credence. I’d like to think of it as a combination of all of them.
There is a real dark meaning here, utterly distorted by the overlapping symbolism. This won’t be the last of Hawthorn’s short stories that I read!
Read information about the authorNathaniel Hawthorne was a 19th century American novelist and short story writer. He is seen as a key figure in the development of American literature for his tales of the nation's colonial history.
Shortly after graduating from Bowdoin College, Hathorne changed his name to Hawthorne. Hawthorne anonymously published his first work, a novel titled Fanshawe, in 1828. In 1837, he published Twice-Told Tales and became engaged to Sophia Peabody the next year. He worked at a Custom House and joined a Transcendentalist Utopian community, before marrying Peabody in 1842. The couple moved to The Old Manse in Concord, Massachusetts, later moving to Salem, the Berkshires, then to The Wayside in Concord. The Scarlet Letter was published in 1850, followed by a succession of other novels. A political appointment took Hawthorne and family to Europe before returning to The Wayside in 1860. Hawthorne died on May 19, 1864, leaving behind his wife and their three children.
Much of Hawthorne's writing centers around New England and many feature moral allegories with a Puritan inspiration. His work is considered part of the Romantic movement and includes novels, short stories, and a biography of his friend, the United States President Franklin Pierce.
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