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Feminism in Hawthornes The Ministers Black Veil The character of Elizabeth in Nathaniel Hawthornes The Ministers Black Veil seems to be a somewhat forgotten symbol of feminism I was struck with Elizabeths strength and determination when she confronted her husband in public It seems as if Hawthorne is placing Elizabeth as a strong female character in order to further explore the ridiculous over-morality of the male character of the minister When Elizabeth confronts her husband in public about the reason for his hiding behind the veil she does so in a persistent manner defying his and societys expectation that she should be content with whatever answer her husband gives her In other words instead of playing the obedient and satisfied role of the wife Elizabeth continues to ask her husband to give her reasonable answer for his unusual behavior She expects to hear the rational truth from him This shows that Elizabeth has a clearer sense of what makes a rational argument The ministers reliance on religious reasons behind his wearing of the veil makes him a figure which people ridicule Through this Hawthorne is showing a superiority of women over men when it comes to levels of thinking A further clue for the support of Elizabeth as a feminist character is in her reaction to her husbands unwillingness to give her an answer with which she is fully satisfied Elizabeth leaves her husband in public This seems an extreme reaction for a woman especially a ministers wife to take at the time I believe that Hawthorn in his parable was trying to let us know that our imagination is much more a part of us than we believe The black veil symbolized that we all have a hazed or covered look at the word are not looking at the whole person Although the minister had not changed because he wore the black veil the attitudes of
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