A Judgmental Society in Ministers Black Veil
"People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves. (Albert Camus). Our society is too judgmental and it always has been. We judge one another without judging ourselves first. Even in the time Hawthorne wrote of in The Scarlet Letter and in "The Ministers Black Veil" people judged before they knew the truth.
In "The Ministers Black Veil" no one knew why the minister wore the veil but everyone assumed it meant shame and that he had something to hide. I think that the minister thought that it was his mission to show how superficial the people were. The minister's own fiancÃ©e left him because no one knew anything about the veil he wore. The significance was symbolic. Elizabeth and Mr. Hooper were engaged in an affair, which as a minister, he knew it was wrong. He approached her saying, "Be mine and hereafter there shall be no veil over my face..."
Unlike the townspeople, he chose to display his sins, in the form of the veil, whereas the people hide theirs within themselves. In his mind, the only way to absolve himself was to tell of his sin by way of the veil. He knows that people harbor sin, and it was his way of shaming them. People looked upon him and shuddered, their own sins claiming them but instead of repenting, they let it fester....whereas Hooper didn't, and in the end, was able to face judgment, from God and only God.
People often take events to be meaningful and supernatural. In those times people were taken to mean things as well. The minister, or reverend, is seen as a holy worshipful person, to be looked upon as a level of holiness to achieve. The reverend may have committed great and evil sins but he is still seen as a holy idol.
People judge others without basis for their opinion, and without knowing of the facts. Events were taken as symbolic when all they were was a natural occurrence. Objects are made into symbols