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Questions & Answers: “The Minister’s Black Veil” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Q1. One symbol in “The Minister’s Black Veil” is the black veil, which the protagonist of the story Reverend Hooper starts wearing all of a sudden in order to cover his face. The veil he wears “consist of two folds of crape” and is “swathed about his forehead, and hanging down over his face” concealing his features entirely “except the mouth and chin” (Hawthorne 409). This veil has a symbolic value in the story owing to creating a paradigm shift in the opinion of the town people about Father Hooper.
Q2. The veil Father Hooper wears represents the deceptive facade all humans wear to conceal their secret sins. Initially, the town people started making theories and spreading rumors that Father Hooper wears the black veil as a sign of atonement for a certain sin he has committed secretly. However, with time, the veil as the symbol of secret sin gives them the courage to remove their own veils by confessing their secret sins to Father Hooper.
Q3. I agree that everyone has a secret sin to hide from others since perfection is the quality reserved only for the Almighty while all humans are prone to commit sins. Moreover, it is also the quality of only the Almighty to forgive the sins of mankind while humans tend to be judgmental and unforgiving to each other. Hence, people have a tendency of keeping their sins in secret while preten…
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