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What explaniation does Hooper give to Elizabeth his fiancee for wearing the veil? What...

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macrena | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 24, 2007 at 6:04 AM via web

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What explaniation does Hooper give to Elizabeth his fiancee for wearing the veil?

What arguments against wearing the veil does she make?

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted May 24, 2007 at 7:22 AM (Answer #1)

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Elizabeth, who is not afraid of the veil at first, finally cannot tolerate it any longer and asks him to remove it. When he refuses, he says he has vowed to wear it forever, as a "type and symbol". He explains the veil could also serve as either a symbol of mourning or a symbol of sorrow for the secret sin that he's accused of hiding. Of course, there has been all kinds of gossip as to why he's wearing the veil, and he is saddened that the veil would have such an effect.

The veil is a symbol of the mask we all wear to hide our deepest, darkest secrets and desires. He accuses all men of hiding under their own "veils" from God and other men. He views this as a sin or at least a weakness of mankind. At the end, when Hooper is dying, he asks that the other not judge him until they have examined their own consciences and found themselves free of sin. I am reminded of the Biblical verse that says, "Let those who are without sin cast the first stone." Hooper feels he has admitted his sin openly by wearing the veil while others wear a veil on their souls. He says it is human nature for us to commit and then try to hide our sins.

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