Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Minister's Black Veil by Hawthorne

Mr. Hooper was a minister around the age of 30 still a bachelor, and his face was hidden beneath a black veil and gave all things a darkened aspect. He was known to be a good preacher, but he wasn’t very enthusiastic. His words from his sermon would creep upon people in the congregation using a subtle power. People left the service confused and amazed at the same time with his inspiring words being able to shine light on to these people. Eventually the sight of the black veil would disappear. In the Puritan society it was acceptable for women to wear veils, but when it was seen on Mr. Hooper's face everyone assumed that he committed a secret sin and was a bad person.

Mr. Hooper explains that everyone has a black veil around them…and you can just see mine… but there is a time in this world where everyone can cast away their veils and when the time comes he will explain.

This black veil separates him from the rest of the world and it is a symbol that he is bound to forever.

"All through life that piece of crape had hung between him and the world: it had separated him from cheerful brotherhood and woman's love, and kept him in that saddest of all prisons, his own heart; and still it lay upon his face, as if to deepen the gloom of his darksome chamber, and shade him from the sunshine of eternity."

When Mr. Hooper was laying on his death bed, the people around the community came to see him and were very disrespectful. Reverend Mr. Clark tried to reveal the secrets of the society for years by lifting his veil off. The people in Puritan New England do not have respect for others.

The community of Puritan, New England did not accept him for who he was, they just wanted to figure out the mystery of this black veil. This community is unable to accept people for who they truly are and its all about physical appearance. Not about what the person is on in the inside. By writing this story this is what Hawthorne is saying about Puritan New England.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Good vs. Bad

"Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it." in Self Reliance written by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

In the world there are both good things and bad things. But they can all be interchangeable within themselves. "Good" is a name to classify something that is right, and "bad" is a name to classify something that is wrong, however that is not always the case. Different people in the world set different goals and limits for themselves, including their own actions. For example if a person thinks its not a big deal to rob a bank, then that is technically classified as "good" for them. Even though a common person's perception of that idea would be ultimately bad. But then again what is the common perception? So Emerson's theory is that good and bad are just names, but what is ultimately good depends on what is right to your own principles in life, and what is ultimately bad is what goes against your principles in life. So the common perception varies based on different situations good or bad from person to person and with their personal constitution. So in reality there is no such thing as a "common" perception, because people have different principles for their lives. And whether they obey or go against them dictates whether it is "good" or "bad".

Wednesday, October 8, 2008