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					               The Minister’s Black Veil
                by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Feature Menu

                 Introducing the Story
                 Literary Focus: Symbolism
                 Literary Focus: Literary Perspectives
                 Reading Focus: Making Inferences
                 Writing Focus: Think as a
                 Reader/Writer
           The Minister’s Black Veil
            by Nathaniel Hawthorne




Where does an
individual find
   inspiration?
                  The Sermon by Julius Gari Melchers
 The Minister’s Black Veil
   Introducing the Story




Click on the title to start the video.
           The Minister’s Black Veil
             Introducing the Story

There is the fear that we shan’t prove worthy in
the eyes of someone who knows us at least as well
as we know ourselves. . . .
                              Robert Frost (1874–1963)
            The Minister’s Black Veil
              Introducing the Story

Mr. Hooper, a young Puritan clergyman, shocks his
congregation by appearing at the church one
Sunday in a black veil.
• Why, the people wonder
  fearfully, is their minister
  hiding his face?

• Is the veil related to the
  topic of Mr. Hooper’s
  sermon—secret sin?

                                     [End of Section]
           The Minister’s Black Veil
           Literary Focus: Symbolism

A symbol is something that
• has meaning in itself
• also stands for something beyond itself

                passage of time    love
  peace
            The Minister’s Black Veil
             Literary Focus: Symbolism
Hawthorne, like other Dark Romantics, used
symbolism in his writing. The central symbol in
this story is a black veil.
 Descriptions of
                    ―horrible‖
 the veil suggest
 its symbolic
 importance.
                    ―dismal shade‖
 The veil ―darkly
 separates the            ―mysterious emblem‖
 wearer from the
 world.‖
           The Minister’s Black Veil
              Literary Perspectives
Analyzing Historical Context Thinking about
historical context helps you understand the culture
of the time.
In Puritan New
England, sin was a
frequent sermon topic.

How might the Puritans’
focus on sin and guilt
have affected their
emotions and actions?     The Sermon by Julius Gari Melchers

                                           [End of Section]
          The Minister’s Black Veil
        Reading Focus: Making Inferences
When you read a story, you make inferences about
characters and events.
                   An inference is an educated
                   guess based on

                    • clues in the text
                    • your own knowledge and
                      experience
          The Minister’s Black Veil
        Reading Focus: Making Inferences
How can you infer the mood on the Sunday
morning in Milford as the story begins?

―Children, with bright faces, tripped merrily
―Children, with bright faces, tripped merrily beside
beside their parents, or mimicked gait, in the
their parents, or mimicked a graver a graver gait, in
the conscious dignity of their Sunday clothes. Spruce
conscious dignity of their Sunday clothes. Spruce
                                   pretty maidens,
bachelors looked sidelong at the pretty maidens, and
and fancied that the Sabbath sunshine made
fancied that the Sabbath sunshine made them prettier
them prettier than
than on weekdays.‖ on weekdays.‖

From these details you can infer that the mood is
lighthearted.
           The Minister’s Black Veil
         Reading Focus: Making Inferences

Into Action As you read, keep a chart like the one
below to record your inferences about characters,
events, and symbols.


                       My Knowledge/
       Details        Experience              My Inferences
        “Children    Several words have a     The mood in
       with bright   lighthearted, pleasant   Milford is
       faces,        connotation.             cheerful and
       tripped                                happy.
       merrily.”

                                                  [End of Section]
           The Minister’s Black Veil
     Writing Focus: Think As a Reader/Writer

Find It in Your Reading The black veil is the
principal symbol in this story.
As you read, notice how
the author suggests the
veil’s meanings by
describing the way it
affects

  • the congregation’s view of Mr. Hooper

  • Mr. Hooper’s view of the world
Vocabulary
         The Minister’s Black Veil
                Vocabulary

inanimate adj.: lifeless.
obscurity n.: darkness.
iniquity n.: wickedness.

ostentatious adj.: deliberately attracting notice.
pensively adv.: thoughtfully or seriously.

antipathy n.: strong dislike.

plausibility n.: believability.
          The Minister’s Black Veil
                 Vocabulary

Those inanimate objects which can be easily
replaced, are not highly valued.




 Which of these inanimate objects might be
 hardest to replace?
          The Minister’s Black Veil
                 Vocabulary

The surprised security officer was compelled to
ask, ―Is everything in your luggage inanimate?‖


                      What might the officer
                      have noticed?

                      a. a lump
                      b. heaviness
                      c. meowing
           The Minister’s Black Veil
                  Vocabulary

You are aware of obscurity when the lights
literally go out, but you may also sense a kind of
darkness if you are not noticed or recognized.

                                 Not everyone
                                 depends on the
                                 spotlight for
                                 happiness, but
                                 few like to work
                                 in obscurity.
           The Minister’s Black Veil
                  Vocabulary

Unlike some writers, Hawthorne did not have to
toil in obscurity.


    A writer or
    artist often first
    creates in
    obscurity,
    until the quality
    of the work is
    recognized.
          The Minister’s Black Veil
                 Vocabulary

A circus today would be considered reasonable
and tame entertainment for the family . . . hardly
a den of iniquity.


                      What features does this
                      clown have, however, that
                      suggest wickedness, or
                      iniquity?
         The Minister’s Black Veil
                Vocabulary

The word iniquity is old-fashioned, but the
concept of wickedness is common enough today.


                                Which of these
                                people looks
                                the least likely
                                to be guilty of
                                any iniquity?
   A          B         C
          The Minister’s Black Veil
                 Vocabulary

The word ostentatious suggests an outward
appearance created for the express purpose of
showing off.
           The Minister’s Black Veil
                  Vocabulary
While the word ostentatious can carry a negative
connotation, a show-off quality is often appreciated
in public buildings.




 Which is more ostentatious, the opera house in
 Sidney or the arch in St. Louis?
           The Minister’s Black Veil
                  Vocabulary

The adverb pensively suggests that someone
has some deep thinking to do.

A poet pensively considering a sonnet is
probably in what kind of mood?

           thoughtful     meditative
           eager          deceitful
           lighthearted   serious
           harsh          jealous
          The Minister’s Black Veil
                 Vocabulary

Before Angela accepted the promotion, she and
her siblings considered the impact of a move.




They each reflected pensively on how they
would stay close from a greater distance.
           The Minister’s Black Veil
                  Vocabulary
The word antipathy suggests a dislike that is
somewhat milder than deep hatred.


 Melton’s hostility toward
 classmates is only
 fleeting.
 What might help him
 forget his antipathy?
             The Minister’s Black Veil
                    Vocabulary
The word antipathy brings to mind several words
built on the root –path, meaning feeling.

       Match the following prefix/root
       combinations with their meanings:
       apathy antipathy empathy



   hostile          shared          no
   feeling          feeling         feeling
          The Minister’s Black Veil
                 Vocabulary


Marianne enjoys inviting partners onto the dance
floor . . .

 but can there be any
 plausibility to the rumor
 she’s an extraterrestrial
 who makes dancers
 disappear between the
 waltz and the cha-cha?
          The Minister’s Black Veil
                 Vocabulary


One may imagine a bizarre and unbelievable
scenario, only to find that the natural world
functions with equally astounding results.

                        If you had never seen a
                        gyroscope before, would
                        you doubt the
                        plausibility of such
                        incredible balance?

                                      [End of Section]
The End

				
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