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The Scarlet Letter Vs. The Min Essay, Research Paper

The Scarlet Letter versus The Minister s Black Veil

When you compare The Scarlet Letter to The Minister s Black Veil they are quitealike in many ways yet different in many ways. Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the followingthemes in his stories: Alienation, Initiation, Problem of Guilt, Pride, Puritan New England, and Allegory. The are different because of the settings, the length of the story,and the symbols.

In both stories someone was sinful, rather it be the main character or the entiretown. In the scarlet letter, Hester Prynne was seen as sinful by the towns people.The people treated Hester as if she were an outsider and evil, because shecommitted the sin of adultery. In the Minister s Black Veil, the town s people canbe seen as evil and sinful. The reason they are thought as evil and sinful is becausethey say things about him because he is wearing the black veil. This can be seenwhen Mr. Hooper says, Why do you tremble at me? Cried he turning his veiledface around the circle of pale specters. Tremble also at each other! Have menavoided me and women shown no pity, and children screamed and fled only for myBlack veil? What, but the mystery which it obscurely typifies, has made this pieceof crape so awful? When the friend shows his inmost heart to his friend, the loverto his best beloved; when man does not vainly shrink from the eye of his Creator,loathsomely treasuring up the secret of his sin; then deem me a monster, for the symbol beneath which I have lived, and die! I look around me, and, lo! on every visage a Black Veil!

In the Scarlet Letter, Hester lives with her sin every single day, she shows it to the world that she has committed sin. Mr. Hooper in the Black Veil hides his sins. One reason he does this is because he wants to show how people hide their sins every day. He wants to show that he has sinned and he is ashamed of it.

The Scarlet Letter Puritans focused on religious piety and devotion to the Word. Because of their strong religious beliefs, the Puritans established a government that was very much interwoven with their religion. Only church members were allowed to vote, creating a society absolutely controlled by Puritan leaders. In this society, civil obedience was synonymous with duty with God. The Black Veil Puritans weren t quite as strict. They were still a theocracy, they we just a little more lose, so to say.

The Puritans in The Scarlet Letter harshly punished those who had beliefs which differed from theirs. Man was viewed as innately corrupt and punishment was used as a warning to keep others from straying from morality. The Puritans saw the growing immorality in New England as a sign that their society would either have to repent or experience “the cleansing fire of God s wrath”. Their severe punishment reflected the harsh environment that surrounded them. Punishment was a tool to create a civilized society in a savage world. Quakers were whipped; drunkards were marked with a “D”; adulteresses were marked with an “A”; and criminals were placed in stocks in the town

square for public humiliation. The Puritans in the Black Veil once again we not as focused on sins. Most of the townspeople hid their sin. That was the whole purpose of the Mr. Hooper wearing his veil, to be open about his sin.

The stories are alike because they have the same themes and both of the main characters deal with public sin. They are different because ones religion may be less strict than another. The stories were great pieces of literary art.


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