The Minister’s Black VeilFather Hooper wears a black veil over his eyes and nose, never revealingthe reason of the veil to a soul. At times the sexton would insinuate a reasonbehind the veil but never revealing the answer to the mystery. Father Hooper isa very imaginative and creative individual to innovate the idea of wearing ablack veil to express an idea. He is angry towards the response of the veil tohis parishioners, since they treated him differently with the veil compared towithout it.
Most of the parishioners are clueless to why he wears it and sometry to imagine why he would ever want to wear it, but there are only ideas andarguments to why a minister would wear it.One of the reasons behind the veil might be secret sin. Father Hoopermight have committed a very bad sin which he does not want to unveil to anyone.Instead of not telling anyone the sin he shows it clearly on his face with theaid of a black veil.
This black veil might relieve tension in his body that hasaccumulated due to his sin. In the story, Father Hooper says that everyonewears a black veil, meaning that everyone commits secret sins without revealingthem to anyone. If you do not express your secret sin you would be keepingstress and tension locked up inside you, but if you express it, the stress andtension will be relieved.Another reason behind the veil might be sorrow.
Deep, dark sorrow forsomeone or yourself might be expressed and shown with the help of a black veil.By wearing the black veil for eternity, you are exhibiting great love and sorrowfor someone or yourself. If the black veil was removed, the sorrow and lovewould be dead. This might be how Reverend Hooper expressed the veil.Father Hooper might have also used the veil as a friend and a device totest Elizabeth’s love for him.
The black veil might have given Mr. Hooperfriendship if he was lonely and without a mate. He could test Elizabeth to seeif an object would come between them and their love.
The Reverend told her ifshe was his, the black veil would then be removed. If she was not his, theblack veil would stay on his face and be his friend for eternity. The blackveil came between Elizabeth and Father Hooper, causing him to wear it foreternity.The author Nathaniel Hawthorne shows how one symbol can be interpretedinto many ways and lead to many sub-topics. He does not give the reason behindthe black veil because he wants the readers to use their imagination and thinkof their own reason behind the veil.
Although Father Hooper never answered themystery of the veil, there are many theories behind it. I could not think ofone theory for the black veil without thinking of others, therefore I listed allthree of my theories.