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The Minister's Black Veil (pdf)
The Minister’s Black Veil (pdf)

First published in the 1836 edition of The Token and Atlantic Souvenir, “The Minister’s Black Veil” (pdf) is a short story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The story is set in a small puritan town in the first half of the 18th century. Just before the “Great Awakening” of the 1730s and 1740s, when preachers started to put more emphasis on individual sin and the need for redemption.

The small town of Milford, Connecticut, is stirred up when Mr. Hooper, the town clergy, begins wearing a black veil over the top half of his face. Mr. Hooper continues his duties, preaching, performing weddings and ceremonies, all while continuing to wear the veil.

Mr. Hooper continues to serve for many years. Never removing his veil, and only hinting occasionally at its purpose or meaning.

Mr. Hooper’s message, in this parable of a story, is that we all have secret sins and that we should not judge others on outward appearance.

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