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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"The Minister's Black Veil"

Honestly, I find it somewhat difficult to describe this story, "The Minister's Black Veil," as part of the Dark Romanticism style of writing because it is merely a story. There is not much left up to the reader to be afraid of or be confused about, other than the obvious fact that the minister is wearing a black veil for no apparent reason. It is really only confusing that the minister has a sudden and totally radical change in thought and begins wearing this. The reader, or any of the townspeople, for that matter, does not understand the reason behind the minister's veil. The parishoners just think it must be the work of the Devil simply bwecause they do not understand the minister's thoughts. The veil was a sort of "shield" between the man of God and the rest of the mortal world, nothing more, and nothing less. I thought it was sort of ridiculous how long and drawn out the story was; much of it seemed very repetitive and just plain boring. But, still, the people of the town were certainly confused. "'He has changed himself into something awful only by hiding his face.'" (Hawthorne, 281). This is totally true; all the poor man did was put his face behind a thin piece of cloth, and the whole town reacted so violently. I suppose, psychologically, since the minister was the town's source of God, they have a good reason to be scared and confused. They are used to the minister being somewhat melancholy and somewhat indifferent, but this mask made it so they were not able to read his emotions as well because they could not see his face. Listening to his words was made much harder because they were constantly distracted by the confusion behind his black veil. Also, as I said before, they are very uncertain of the origin of the veil because it is black, and the color black is usually thought to be of the Devil. It is usually associated with death and dying, so it could be assumed by the town that the minister is dying or his faith is dying, where in reality, the minister simply wore it to show, physically, the black veil that every person wears. The townspeople just did not really think about their own black veils because they are not as prevelent as the minister's veil. He did this act to sort of trick the town into realizing their own faulties and "veils" they use to hide those downsides. Everyone, even today, puts on a mask sometimes to hide their emotions because they are trying to deal with s difficult time in life. The minister simply wanted the town to become aware or these masks. Their reactions were very justified, though, because they were afraid of the veil, since they were not quite aware of their own. It was quite different to the town. It was a wake-up call done by the minister to the town in that he knew they were all guilty of wearing these masks, but he just wanted the town to know it like he did.

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