Can you give me some deep, good questions about the story "The Minister's Black Veil" by Nathaniel Hawthorne for a class discussion?  Thanks for your answers.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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There are many different "deep and good" questions one could ask about Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "The Minister's Black Veil."

1. What is the symbolism associated with the color of the veil?

2. Why does Mr. Hooper feel as though using the black veil is the only way to really get his message across to his congregation?

3. How does the black veil represent alienation and loneliness? In what ways is this illustrated throughout the story?

4. How does the black veil represent doubt? Who seems to possess the most doubt? Why?

5. What would be an item which could be used to represent Hawthorne's black veil today?

6. How do you think that a congregation, or even society, would regard Hooper's wearing of the black veil today?

7. What is surprising about the reaction of the congregation of Hooper's church? What textual support is found in the story which supports their reaction as being correct? What exists in the texts as the congregation's reaction as being incorrect?

8. During the time which "The Minister's Black Veil" was written, how does the story illustrate the beliefs of the period? Is the reaction of the congregation more easily understood when examined from the period's perspective?

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