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Nathaniel Hawthornes short story The Ministers 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 Ministers Black Veil have been under the penetrating light of the critics 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 works ambiguity as his principal organizational trope Quarterly 21 344 However as asserted by Norman German even perspicacious critics can have blindspots Fiction 21 41 More significantly Hawthornes employment of puns and biblical references throughout the story overshadows other myths the The Ministers Black Veil brings to life An ameliorate understanding of the veil comes to life only after one studies these puns and biblical references more scrupulously Hawthorne consistently uses puns and the contiguity of perceptibly dissimilar words As Norman German notes however these dissimilar words are related etymologically Fiction v251 41 Puns which may seem coincidental on the surface actually show that Hawthorne uses a carefully thought out process to strengthen the principal theme of the story Most revealing is one of Mr Hoopers parishioners who seems not fully to partake of the prevailing wonder Literature of Mr Hoopers eccentricity Further on the narrator tells us that there was one person in the village Elizabeth unappalled by the awe with which the black veil had impressed all beside herself Literature Hawthorne associates these statements with characters who the reader perceives to be of such intelligent as to not be taken in by any exhibitionists deception Although neither of these statements are classified as
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