What does the story "The Minister's Black Veil" reveal about Puritan religious beliefs, rules of behavior, values, and ideals?

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In Hawthorne's classic short story, Reverend Hooper wears a black veil, which symbolically represents the various ways presumably righteous citizens conceal their dark secrets and sins. Whenever Mr. Hooper wears his black veil for the first time, he is viewed with contempt, and his community members shy away from him. For the remainder of his life, Reverend Hooper wears the ominous black veil and becomes an outcast in his own community. The Puritan citizens do not sympathize with Mr. Hooper and instead begin to spread rumors about him. Hawthorne provides insight into the nature of Puritan society throughout his moving short story.

The primary message of the short story concerns how people hide their secret sins in order to maintain their righteous appearance and reputation. Mr. Hooper's black veil and his sermon on secret sin emphasize the importance of having a morally upright, righteous reputation in Puritan society. The Puritans are depicted as being more concerned with appearances...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 516 words.)

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