Unconfessed sin and guilt can fester in the body and soul.In the setting of Puritan
society, the themes of sin and guilt present themselves in the novel The Scarlet Letter and in the
short story ;The Minister;s Black Veil.;In these two literary works, Nathaniel Hawthorne and
a few critics express similar and different perspectives of the depiction of sin and guilt.
In ;The Minister;s Black Veil,;Reverend Hooper realizes that all men are secret
sinners; they hide their guilt and sorrow away from even their closest relations.Mr. Hooper
acknowledges that he, too, belongs to the stained tribe by donning a black veil. Symbolic of this
buried shame, he wears the veil at all times.Proving this point, Hooper;s congregation, upon
first sight of the veil, ;felt as if the preacher had crept upon them, behind his awful veil, and
discovered their hoarded iniquity of deed or thought;(Hawthorne, ;Minister; 267). Wearing the
veil precipitates a dramatic change in the Reverend;s relationship with his congregation.His
parishioners ;no longer accept him as they did before the advent of the veil.The veil which so
distinguishes him from his fellow villagers strikes fear in the hearts of all and causes them to
dread his approach and to withdraw their friendship and companionship from him; (Reed 1503).
Whatever his sin or whatever his sorrow, by the act of wearing the veil, he openly admits his
own kinship to the family of sinners.Then he has to deal with the consequences:ostracism,
Although Mr. Hooper maintains that the veil merely symbolizes those failings common
to all humanity, the townspeople do not know what to make of it.Some townspeople see the
veil as an eccentricity, but gradually the fear develops ;that Mr. Hooper;s conscience tortured
him for some great crime too horrible to be entirely conc