In Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story, "The Minister's Black Veil," how is the veil described?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first description of the minister's veil is that it is black--as seen in the title of Hawthorne's famous short story. The veil's description is also addressed within the first few paragraphs of the story as something "remarkable" to see. The veil is "swathed about his forehead, and hanging down over his face, so low as to be shaken by his breath." The word "swathed" means that a long, thick material is wrapped around his head and then comes down in front of his face. It is interesting to note that the veil hides the minister's whole face except for his mouth and chin. Another interesting fact is that the veil sways up and down as he breathes which creates a spooky or creepy visual image. Ironically, this certainly isn't an image one would like to see when conversing with a spiritual leader.

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The Minister's Black Veil

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