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Word Count: 656
In Nathaniel Hawthornes The Ministers Black Veil the author chooses to mask the character of the minister with the black veil to construct an allegory that would compare sin concocted by imagination with unrecognized sin of ones self With the story being set in the Puritan time period of the settlement of New England as nearly all of Hawthornes stories are the reader can logically infer a certain set of value judgements For instance these people being very sincere about their religion are likely to see anything out of the ordinary such as a black-veiled minister as a serious issue that undermines their faith On the surface the first sight of the veil not only confuses the congregation but scares them as well This man is supposed to be their most direct mode of communication with God and to see him in what they perceive to be quite a bizarre condition must make them feel that their religious lives may be in danger Yet another character trait held by this community is its inability to cope with even the slightest bit of change Something as trivial as a man covering his face with black crape paper literally whips this community into a frenzy I dont like itp102 cried the old woman Our parson has gone mad102 cried Goodman Gary Without even the slightest bit of investigation into the issue these people have brewed in their imaginations all sorts of theories as to what is so wrong with the minister A third and possibly most dangerous trait of the community is its almost joyous inclination toward superstition Whether you would like to call it Puritan myth or strait fact this obsession with witchcraft and the supernatural is what made Puritan New England a dangerous place to live in the 17th century This idea of the occult always seems to find its way into a Hawthorne story and The Ministers Black Veil is no exception Even
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