"The Minister's Black Veil"

Discussion in 'The Literary Forum' started by tleaf, Nov 9, 2014.

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  1. tleaf

    tleaf Puritan Board Freshman

    Rereading some classic short stories, I came across this one. It brought back thoughts I had when I first read it many decades ago, coupled with my old New England roots.

    Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote about life, man and sin in those early days.

    Thoughts?

    The Minister's Black Veil, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1836
     
  2. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Like most of Hawthorne's stories, it's well-written. I don't think it is true of earlier New England theology, and some speculate that Hawthorne's anti-Puritan stuff is more of a commentary of his churches in his own day, but it could be true of later degenerations of New England Puritanism.
     
  3. Miss Marple

    Miss Marple Puritan Board Junior

    I burned out on N. Hawthorne after reading "The Scarlet Letter," which I interpreted as such an ugly propaganda piece against Puritans. Not even an attempt at nuance. Maybe this short story is better?
     
  4. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Puritan Board Sophomore

    Strange that out public high school managed to expose us to The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible
    Not the least biased choices
     
  5. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    The Crucible was written against Joe Macarthy, not the Puritans (not that it makes it any better; Communism should be exposed. White House, anybody?). Later New England theology was not the same creature as Westminster Assembly.
     
  6. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    From the Minister's Black Veil:

    There is a better Teacher with a more wholesome lesson on secret sin. Psalm 19:7-14:

     
  7. Tyrese

    Tyrese Puritan Board Sophomore

    I read that story not too long ago. It's a pretty interesting story. Although I don't agree with Hawthorne's view on the puritans I enjoyed The Scarlet Letter as well. I'm fascinated with anything that tells (or tries to tell) the story of the New England Puritans.
     
  8. eqdj

    eqdj Puritan Board Freshman

  9. tleaf

    tleaf Puritan Board Freshman

    It's interesting, not necessarily related, that in some churches ministers have worn, and still do wear, black robes, thus separating the "man" from the role of preacher.

    So we see Hawthorne's minister veiling his inner troubles from his congregation, and the robed preacher veiling his humanness while "standing" in God's stead expounding the Gospel.

    Hawthorne's intent may have been commentary, but the applications are still there.

    Just my two cents.
     
  10. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    The gown is still quite common today.
     
  11. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Puritan Board Sophomore

    Miss Marple, Hawthorne's Twice Told Tales is well worth a read. There are some little gems in the volume, which lovingly describe his time and place. Here are a few of my favorites: Little Annie's Ramble, A rill from the Town Pump, The Haunted Mind, Sights from a Steeple, The Great Carbuncle, Footprints on teh Seashore. You can read this volume here: Twice Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne - Free Ebook
     
  12. Miss Marple

    Miss Marple Puritan Board Junior

    Thanks Elizabeth!
     
  13. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    My favorite is Rappacini's Daughter. He contrasts the sensual Italian garden with the Puritan clock (though he is a bit negative to the Puritans).
     
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