Nathaniel Hawthorne: "The Minister's Black Veil" A Study Of Puns And Biblical References

2277 words - 10 pages

Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "The Minister's Black
Veil" is ostensibly the story of a minister who, for the majority
of his life, uses a black veil to hide his face from his
congregation. This black veil causes those around him to question
all but himself as to the its logic. Additionally, the black veil
creates tension in some, grief in others and endless gossip for
all. The ramifications of "The Minister's Black Veil" have been
under the penetrating light of the critic's microscope for years
and, I have no doubt, will be for years to come. The principal
reason for this is explained best by R. H. Fogle when he suggests
that "many interpretations are possible when an author
consciously ...view middle of the document...

Although
neither of these statements are classified as etymological, they
do convince one to surmise that a conscious concerted effort is
being made, by Hawthorne, to incorporate dissimilar words,
thereby establishing the thermatic relevance of puns.
An example of Hawthorne's engaging in prolific wordplay is
revealed at the end of the story as Reverend Clark requests
permission to "cast aside this black veil from [Hooper's] face"
(Literature). The narrator states that Reverend Clark "bent
forward to reveal the mystery of so many years" (Literature).
As expressed by Norman German "'Reveal' is related to 'veil' and
means, literally, to 'unveil'" (Fiction v25(1): 42). The pun fits
the proximity and thematic tests as argued by Norman German, and
although some critics regard these as coincidental, the puns on
"veil" strengthen the thought that Hawthorne consciously uses
words to reinforce a major theme of his story.
Hawthorne exploits the two fold aspect of words, which, like
us, often "put on fronts" masking complex interiors. This
rhetorically reinforces the "fear" and "trembling" which Hooper's
veil inspires, and indicates Hawthorne is playing off the root
meanings of words. A sexton shouts in "astonishment" (to thunder)
in the story. The confusement of the parishioners is suggested,
etymologically, by the use of words such as "amazement" (to
confuse), "wonder-struck", and "perturbation" (to disturb).
Still, Hooper's purpose in life is "to win rather than to drive
them thither, by the thunders of the word" (Literature).
"Persuasive influences" etymologically suggest sweet flowing and
is substantiated in Ernest Klein's A Comprehensive Etymological
Dictionary of the English Language. In a single sentence
Hawthorne embellishes the trembling imagery, "There was nothing
terrible [tremble] in what Mr. Hooper said...yet, with every
tremor [overt use] of his melancholy voice, quaked [overt use]"
(Literature). Later a woman describes the veil as "'a terrible
[covert use] thing on Mr. Hooper's face'" (Literature).
Additionally, one should not overlook the young woman's corpse
which "shuddered" or when "the people trembled" at Hooper's
funeral sermon (Literature). Subsequently, at the wedding,
while still wearing the "horrible" [covert use of horrere, to
tremble] veil "the bride's cold fingers quivered in the tremulous
hand of the bridegroom" (Literature). Hooper, as he
attempts to perform a toast to the couple, sees his own image
reflected in the wine and "the black veil involved his own spirit
in the horror with which it overwhelmed all others. His frame
shuddered..." (Literature). Hawthorne consistently uses Latin
and Greek derivatives for words throughout the story.
Hawthorne obvious use of Latin and Greek meanings for words
is directly related to his educational prowess and is attested to
best by biographer Randall Stewart who states;
"candidates for matriculation at Bowdoin were required
to write Latin grammatically, and to be well versed
in...the...

Other Essays On Nathaniel Hawthorne: "The Minister's Black Veil" A Study Of Puns And Biblical References

The African Diaspora And Its Effect On The Veil

1355 words - 6 pages In chapter one of The Souls of Black Folk titled, "Of our Spiritual Strivings," written by W.E.B Du Bois, the issue is the veil. Du Bois says that every Negro is born with this veil. I will explain the issue of the veil by explaining the African Diaspora. The African Diaspora is the dispersal of African people from Africa to the rest of the world. Du Bois says that every Negro is born with a veil; however, being born with a veil does not mean

"THE BIRTH OF A NATION": An Epic Silent Film Sterotyping Black Americans And The Deep South

1366 words - 6 pages " slaves to build their empire in the same vane that much of civilization had done in the past.Besides the battle action some memorable and scenes include,Lillian Gish emerging from a hospital visit where a sentry, gaping in ecstasy, sighs a sigh of devotion and a title proclaiming "War's Peace" is followed by a close-up of a young dead soldier. Another is a classic Black stereotype in one of the Reconstruction scenes where black members of Congress

Biblical Reflection: St. Paul and the Allegory of the Cave - Philosophy - Assignment

842 words - 4 pages Biblical Reflection: St. Paul and the Allegory of the Cave Sam Francis Plato’s famous work Allegory of the Cave and the bible passage about St. Paul’s conversion found in Acts of the Apostles 9: 1-19 have several connections and similarities between the symbols used in both passages. In both of these short texts the reader can easily recognize a symbolic prisoner, a symbolic sun, pain that the prisoner encountered, symbolic shadows, and lastly

Greed in the works of Poe and Hawthorne - Ap english 3 - Essay

940 words - 4 pages death when she took the vial that was supposed to save her. Greed is a common trait and theme that traces its roots back to the very beginnings of humankind.. Not far behind this primal trait, are its sweeping and grim consequences that both Poe and Hawthorne portray and warn about in their stories. Both Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne take advantage of several literary devices to express their feelings on greed and its consequences

Political, Psychological, Economic And Social Aftermath Of The Black Death

2542 words - 11 pages 1362 and Oxford acquired two colleges. Also:At the University of Florence, for example, which was founded in 1350 in the immediate wake of plague, rhetoric and soon the study of Greek replaced logic at the core of the program in liberal arts. The reform spread quickly to the other universities of Italy and gave a major thrust to the revival of classical studies.The Black Death considerably changed human's mentality about death and certainly did not

Similarities and Difference of Poe/Hawthorne - SUNY College at oldwestbury - Research Paper

1843 words - 8 pages behind attribute. In a journal article “Narrative suppression: sin, secrecy and subjectivity in "The Minister's Black Veil” by Paul j. Emmett he did a comparison on Edgar Allen Poe and Nathaniel Hawthrone by stating that a standout amongst the most well-known hypotheses in Nathaniel Hawthorne grant is Edgar Allan Poe's affirmation of "a wrongdoing of dull color" in "The Minister's Black Veil" (138). For over a century pundit agreed or disputed

Black swan a Questions And answers

442 words - 2 pages subliminal message.African American Comedian Burt Williams though was able to reach both African Americans and whites by just using universal communication such as humor he wwas remembered as strictly as a comedian who tried to did nto hide messeages or have a sub context.Teaching the ArticleExercise 2Music, Sound, and RaceWhat ideas are brought to discussions of black music and of race in music? Why did African Americans dedicate Harry Pace to

Describes the use of imagry in the first 8 chapters of "The Scarlet Letter" by Hawthorne

482 words - 2 pages Throughout these first eight chapters of "The Scarlet Letter," Hawthorne fills his pages with an abundance of imagery. He uses this effective imagery to show rather then tell the story of Hester. This repetitive imagery helps the author to describe symbols and ideas without blatantly telling them to the reader.The color red and the letter 'A' are the most prominent images throughout this section of the book. Hawthorne goes as far as describing

A Raisin in the Sun- analysis of characters - black women literature - character analysis

1137 words - 5 pages investment. This results in his “friend” running off with the money, all of it. Walter did not put any aside for Beneatha’s school and Walter leaves his family disappointed. Beneatha Younger lives in her mother’s home with her brother and his family. If Beneatha were white and living in a different time, her goals of becoming a doctor wouldn’t be unrealistic. She’s living in a time where it’s not common for females to be doctors and even more so, black

The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe, Essay Analysis - an unreliable author - U of A - Essay

1032 words - 5 pages An Unreliable Narrator in “The Black Cat” The point of view in which a narrative is told influences the audience directly, as well as sets up the theme and setting of the story. The point of view presented by Edgar Allan Poe, in the short fiction “The Black Cat” is very significant as it contributes directly to how the story is perceived by the reader. The story is conducted by an anonymous narrator speaking in first person, ​with the narrator

The Similarities between the Biblical and Mesopotamian Flood Stories - UC Berkeley History - Research Paper

2830 words - 12 pages other studies on Ancient Near Eastern cultures challenged the originality of the flood story in the book of Genesis. The differences between Near Eastern versions of the story and the Biblical flood are mostly limited to the details such as the number of the ark stories or the kind of birds released to find a dry land. The Biblical version of the story seems to be a modified version of the narrative, making the story more attractive to the people

Similar Papers

Sins Of A Holy Man A Minsters Black Veil Cfcc Eng 231 Essay

1209 words - 5 pages confession does not have many positive consequences, though he sticks to his veil until the moment he dies. However, while most constantly fantasize about what his sin is and therefore cast him aside, there are few who come from afar to confess to him, who understood his message and found refuge within him because they feel he understood them. All of this because a man of God is a sinner. Works Cited Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “The Minister’s Black Veil

Raising Of The Corporate Veil Enron

8487 words - 34 pages pay of CEOs and senior management is not self determined and there is transparency in the policy governing executive pay. SEBI makes this a non-mandatory recommendation, i.e. desirable but not essential, although disclosure of the compensation package is mandatory.4 Corporate VeilCorporate Veil can be defined as the separation of the company from its shareholders and management and being treated as a separate legal entity. Which means that the

"The Scarlet Letter" By Nathaniel Hawthorne How Hester Prynne Has Romantic Characteristics, But Is Inevitably Transcendental. This Essay Is Also Meant To Be A Short One Page Paper

370 words - 2 pages problems would have been rooted with Puritan society and its evils. But all of her downfalls are based on decisions made by her own inner thoughts and feelings. The tragedy of Dimmesdale dying can only be seen as the tragic flaw of the character, and not a tragedy to society. The "evils" of the puritan society never made its way into the life of Hester, but the burden of having to deflect it made her a problem to herself.Although Hester can be seen

"The Scarlet Letter" By Nathaniel Hawthorne Hester Prynne's Sterling Qualities 834 Words

907 words - 4 pages woman was convicted of adultery, death was a strongly considered form of punishment. In today's society, adultery is all too common and is not dealt with in the same manner. Loyalty is a quality that has for the most part been non-existent in society today. Despite being an adulteress, Hester Prynne displays sterling qualities of character. In Hester's case, the towns' people made an exception, for she was not put to death. Even though most