What role does Elizabeth in Hawthorne's "The Minister's Black Veil" play?

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Mr. Hooper's fiancee, Elizabeth, is the only person in the town of Milford who is not "impressed" by the minister's black veil. She says that there "'is nothing terrible'" in it, and she asks Mr. Hooper to remove it. When he refuses, she asks him to, at least, "'Take away the veil from'" his words and be more forthcoming about why he wears the veil. She warns him that people will whisper that he has some "'secret sin,'" and he admits, "if I cover [my face] for secret sin, what mortal might not do the same?'" Elizabeth falls silent and becomes thoughtful, and, suddenly, "like a sudden twilight in the air, [the veil's] terrors fell around her." She seems to understand its meaning, though she is unwilling to give voice to what she now knows.

Likewise, Mr. Hooper's congregation, during his first sermon after donning the veil, "felt as if the preacher had crept upon them, behind his awful veil, and discovered their hoarded iniquity of deed or thought." From their fears and Elizabeth's...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 538 words.)

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