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One of the more complex issues in the short story "The Minister's Black Veil" by Nathaniel Hawthorne is precisely why the minister starts wearing the veil. Just before the opening of the story, before he chooses to assume the veil, his life appears to be idyllic. He is happily engaged and a popular minister. The one problem he seems to have is that even though he is popular as a minister and his church is well-attended, he is not actually doing the real task of a minister, which is awakening his congregation to a sense of their own sinfulness and leading them to salvation. As he continues to wear the veil, his fiancee leaves him and his parishioners begin to fear him. While parishioners reach out to him when their souls are in torment, he becomes isolated from the normal life of the village. Despite this apparent personal problems caused by the black veil, Hooper's wearing it has solved the initial and deeper problem of his being an ineffective minister.
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