The book by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Minister's Black Veil is an example of a great American early short fiction to some people. The storyline has been developed around the black veil that is worn by Reverend Hooper. The veil is the symbol and works for protecting the Reverend’s face from the world. The story has a repressive tone that is similar to what used to be in the setting during the New England Puritan era, during the early colonial period. This setting is important in developing the behaviors of the main character and this introduces the reader to the forms of the clandestine sins and the nature of the failure by humans. The author’s intended meaning in the fiction has been a topic that has been debated widely with I can criticize the work considering it as being the reduction in influence of Puritan fanaticism, as a work of developing intolerance in the community as well as the criticism of the members of the clergy due the crimes by the Reverend against a young lady in the book. When one reads a book carefully, one understands that it is a tale which is full of ambiguity and the complexity related with spirituality and psychology the story wishes to express is not developed in a way that is clear as it is in a moral tale.
The character of Reverend Hooper has a lot in common with the clergy who had existed earlier before the book appeared. The veil, that Moody used to wear, was totally different and had a different meaning which was not the same as by Reverend Hooper. Once Hooper killed his friend although it was an accident; but this made him to hide his face from other men due to his acts for the rest of his life. This veil is the focus of the whole book and the centre piece that guides both the plot and the themes of the story.
A major theme from the story is developed by the black veil; this theme is well developed by Reverend Hooper in the last words he spoke before his death, these being that every individual has a shortfall or a sin which is kept secret from other people. The veil acts as a symbol representing deceit. It is also represents sin which works in separating an individual from their true self as well as from their spirits. Almost all people have a mask or a veil as is the case with Reverend Hooper and this is a truth that a lot of people are not willing to accept this. Due to his sins, Reverend Hooper has to pay a price and the cost is loneliness due to people leaving him.
The theme on the symbolism of the black veil can also represent the psychological effect of possessing a guilt feeling. The Reverend is a man who is unstable, he is emotional person, and he wants to make this feeling of guilty visible. Reverend Hooper had committed a serious crime against the young lady, later he proceeded to minister during the funeral of the young lady. The sense of guilt has two effects, first it destroys an element of Reverend Hooper’s life and also it enhances the Reverend Hooper’s effectiveness especially in preaching. With time Reverend Hooper is moved further and further by the twinges of conscience for his actions. He is avoided human companionship as well as love, the main things that would have assisted him in being saved. The Reverend feels himself less sinful than others, this is demonstrated by his actions not to confide to others on the meaning of the veil, also his refusal to remove the veil during the show by Elizabeth is a true demonstration that the Reverend suffers from sin superiority. The Reverend feels he is aware of all the truth which other people refuse to accept. This pride leaves the Reverend lonely and very far from the others. He is converted into a monster and his acts have a lot of negative consequences.
The book has a lot of originality and power, also the book is well composed. It is worth noting that only keen readers who are sensitive can be able to receive the true benefit and lessons from the book. The keen readers will be in a position to go beyond the narrative of the story and see more than the moral of the story. The book provides a lot of information and fascinations in regard to the history of New England as well as their daily way of life. The book takes time to appreciate the role played by religion, especially on the small community in the book on the community inhabitants. The author is sensitive to the complex relationships that people develop with each other. The author uses the language with a lot of skills and works in creation of a story which people can keep reading so as assist in developing free insight. The story also addresses the readers on the issues we hide and keep to our self. It is important to know and investigate whether it is still important to hide the things. We cannot go against our feelings and thus the people who tend to hide their feelings need help. The book The Minister's Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne is an interesting story that is enjoyable from the first page to the last.