Hi, everyone! I thought that I would bring you a blast from the past for Throwback Thursday. This is an assignment for my college English class where I talked about a couple short stories by Hawthorne and how they could be seen as related pieces.
“The Minister’s Black Veil” can be seen as a sequel to “Young Goodman Brown” for several reasons. In Young Goodman Brown, a man witnesses a strange meeting and can never look at the people in his community the same way again. He isolates himself from them and his relationship with his wife is troubled as a result. He becomes disillusioned as a result. In The Minister’s Black Veil, a respected minister puts on a black veil that isolates him from the community. They’re too frightened by it to have anything to do with him.
The first possible connection between the two is the minister refusing to give a reason for wearing the veil. This could be Goodman wearing it as a symbol of the sorrow and disillusionment he feels after witnessing people he respected, along with his wife, participating in a ceremony he believed to be evil. In the days of this story, nothing was worse than being considered a witch. In fact, many were hanged for it. He might be wearing the veil as a way of escaping the world around him and to separate himself from those he can’t bear to look at anymore.
There is also the fact the minister refuses to say why he is wearing the veil. This could be seen as a continuation of the silence that Goodman Brown kept about what he saw that night. By telling, he would be exposing those he once respected and what’s more painful than a fallen hero?
Finally, there’s the relationships depicted in the story. The failed relationship in Black Veil could be seen as a product of the pain he carries over his wife taking part in the ceremony as well as a way to keep himself from getting too close to anyone again. Brown does show the lead character isolating himself, so the veil could be seem as the natural next step in that process.
Has anyone read these stories? What do you think of them? I’d love to hear what y’all have to say. Until next time, I leave you with this interesting adaptation someone did on youtube….