close-up portrait of a figure dressed in black wearing a black veil

The Minister's Black Veil

by Nathaniel Hawthorne
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Besides the veil on Mr. Hooper's face, what other references to other types of veils are mentioned in the story "The Minister's Black Veil"? What does each mean?

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I believe you are referring to Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story, "The Minister's Black Veil." In this story, in addition to Mr. Hooper's veil, another veil is referred to when the narrator describes the visitors at the young maiden's funeral:

The people trembled, though they but darkly understood...

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I believe you are referring to Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story, "The Minister's Black Veil." In this story, in addition to Mr. Hooper's veil, another veil is referred to when the narrator describes the visitors at the young maiden's funeral:

The people trembled, though they but darkly understood him when he prayed that they, and himself, and all of mortal race, might be ready, as he trusted this young maiden had been, for the dreadful hour that should snatch the veil from their faces.

Now, of course, the people are not wearing literal, physical, veils like Mr. Hooper's, and so we must consider what Mr. Hooper means when he refers to the veils on their faces. His veil seems to represent some secret sinful nature, as this is what he preaches about on the very first day he wears it, and the parishioners feel as though he has discovered their secret sinfulness as well. We often try to hide the fact that we are "sinners" or do bad or wrong things, but the fact is that we are human, and so we do these things.

However we hide them from one another, though, we cannot hide them from God. This seems to be confirmed with Mr. Hooper tells his fiancee that "'There is an hour to come . . . when all of us shall cast aside our veils.'" Again, he is the only one wearing a physical veil, and he seems to refer, here, to God's judgement after one's death; in that moment, the individual cannot hide their sins anymore.

Later, after performing the wedding ceremony, Mr. Hooper catches a glimpse of his face with the veil on it, in a mirror, and he is overwhelmed by horror. He rushes out into the night, "For the Earth, too, had on her Black Veil," the narrator tells us. Here, the narrator seems to refer to the nighttime, but it could also be that nighttime is when people often do bad or sinful deeds, because the darkness shields them from others' eyes.

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