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themes in Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Major Themes in the Minister’s Black Veil
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Major Themes in the Minister’s Black Veil
The Minister’s Black Veil is set in a Puritan village in New England back 1600s. Through this story, readers are able to get an insight into the author’s strong awareness of his Puritan history. The Puritans led a strict life in which religious devotion and hard work were very much emphasized. In the story, Hawthorne utilizes the black veil to symbolize the sinful nature of humankind. By making use of the Puritan setting, Hawthorne is able to show how even the most religious members of the society also engage in sinful activities. He brings to light several themes including secret sin, people’s reaction to change and isolation.
The theme of secret sin stands out as the biggest theme in The Minister’s Black Veil. The story starts with Mr. Hooper, a minister, presiding over a church service. However, Hooper is spotting a black veil that covers half of his face. The congregation is quite surprised by the minister’s decision to wear a black veil (Hawthorne, 1886). The veil emerges as a representation of Mr. Hooper’ sins which both the congregation and the readers never get to know. As times goes, the townspeople interest in what the black veil could be meaning increases. They start discussing about the possible sin the Minister could have done and for which he is determined to keep secret.
Another major theme that is evident in the s…

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