In Hawthorne's "The Minister's Black Veil," what parts of Mr. Hooper's face did the veil cover?  

1 Answer | Add Yours

tinicraw's profile pic

tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

From the description that Hawthorne gives of the veil, it seems to hang down in front of most of Mr. Hooper's face. It does not seem to be a veil that a woman would use, necessarily, because it is, of course, not only black, but sort of a make-shift veil that he threw together himself.

"Swathed about his forehead, and hanging down over his face, so low as to be shaken by his breath. . . it seemed to consist of two folds of crape, which entirely concealed his features except the mouth and chin, but probably did not intercept his sight, farther than to give a darkened aspect to all living and inanimate things."

The word "swathe" means to wrap up closely like a bandage. Good thing the villagers saw him come out of his own house because they could have mistake him for a robber or bandit! The word "crape" is actually an Anglicized word from the French word "crepe" which is defined not only as a French pancake, but a band of silk or cotton fabric that has fine crinkles in it. So it would seem as if he looked like a cross between a bandit and a woman in mourning; except for the fact that parts of his mouth and chin could be seen.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,929 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question