What literary elements are used in "The Minister's Black Veil"?

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In the story, Nathaniel Hawthorne alternates narrative with dialogue. He employs a third-person narrator who provides background, insights into the characters, and plot points. The dialogue shows the townspeople discussing matters among themselves, which is often different than what they say to the minister; for example:

"Our parson has gone mad!" cried Goodman Gray ...

In the narrative, Hawthorne often highlights a point by using understatement or modifiers, thus adding an ironic twist to the meaning. He refers to the women who react strongly to the veil as having “delicate nerves” and underplays the effects of the congregants’ behavior.

[P]erhaps the pale-faced congregation was almost as fearful a sight to the minister as his black veil to them.

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 739 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 10, 2019