The Minister's Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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What are some internal/external conflicts in "The Minister's Black Veil"?

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One further example of external conflict you might like to consider is man v society. In refusing to take off his black veil the minister is pitting himself against his congregation. His stubborn insistence on wearing the veil, even when he's officiating at a wedding, places him at a considerable distance from those he's supposed to serve. Among other things, this means that the minister is unable to carry out his pastoral duties properly, alienating him even further from his flock.

Whatever the reason behind Hooper's strange behavior, his insistence on wearing the veil can be seen as an assertion of the rights of the individual against the community. Like everyone else Hooper is a social being, subject to laws, mores, and numerous conventions. But he's also an individual, again like everyone else, and it's that side of him that he asserts by refusing to take off the black veil.

Though the townsfolk generally disapprove of the black veil, indeed, are deeply unnerved by it, they cannot make...

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