The Minister’s Black Veil


Nathaniel Hawthorne

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The young woman Character Analysis

The young woman, who is being buried on the day that Hooper first wears his veil, has no lines in “The Minister’s Black Veil,” but it’s been suggested by some readers that she is the story’s most important character. Edgar Allan Poe argued that she and Hooper were lovers, and Hooper’s decision to cover his face is caused by his guilt after her death.

The young woman Quotes in The Minister’s Black Veil

The The Minister’s Black Veil quotes below are all either spoken by The young woman or refer to The young woman. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Puritanism and Piety Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Minister’s Black Veil published in 2011.
The Minister's Black Veil Quotes

The clergyman stepped into the room where the corpse was laid, and bent over the coffin, to take a last farewell of his deceased parishioner. As he stooped, the veil hung straight down from his forehead, so that, if her eyelids had not been closed forever, the dead maiden might have seen his face. Could Mr. Hooper be fearful of her glance, that he so hastily caught back the black veil?

Related Characters: Reverend Hooper, The young woman
Related Symbols: The Black Veil
Page Number: 14
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Minister’s Black Veil PDF

The young woman Character Timeline in The Minister’s Black Veil

The timeline below shows where the character The young woman appears in The Minister’s Black Veil. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Minister's Black Veil
Puritanism and Piety Theme Icon
Appearance, Perception, and Interpretation Theme Icon
Hooper gives the afternoon service, which includes a funeral service for a young woman . Hooper’s black veil seems appropriate for the occasion. When he bends over the woman’s... (full context)
Puritanism and Piety Theme Icon
Sin and Guilt Theme Icon
Teaching by Example Theme Icon
Isolation Theme Icon
...the funeral, Hooper delivers a moving sermon in which he expresses his certainty that the young woman is in Heaven, and his hope that everyone in the congregation is living a moral... (full context)