Ambiguity in "The Minister's Black Veil" centers around the reasons that the Reverend Mr. Hooper has donned the black veil and why he refuses to remove it, even for his fiancée and, in the end, as he lies dying.
When Parson Hooper mysteriously appears with a black veil upon his face as he walks toward the meetinghouse, members of his congregation are startled by his appearance. At first, some of the people are not sure that they have really seen their minister; others feel that he has "changed himself into something awful" in the act of hiding much of his face. Goodman Gray cries out, "Our parson has gone mad!" Certainly, there is a general "perturbation" when the minister enters the meetinghouse. For a black veil itself has an ambiguity: it can be worn to signify the mourning of an individual, or it can be donned to hide one's shame.
Because of this ambiguity of the meaning of a black veil, as well as the ambiguity surrounding Parson Hooper's motivation for wearing it, the...
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