The Minister's Black Veil is a short story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Until the Sunday when the story opens the minister, Mr. Hooper was a proper, well-dressed rather ordinary minister. He was well liked by his congregation, but there was nothing special about him. He appears one Sunday wearing a black veil that covers all of his face except his mouth and his chin. The minister's wearing of the veil has a dramatic effect on his congregation from that day forward. The rest of the story tells us how the minister never reveals his face again, not even to himself. It tells us the effect his wearing of the veil has on all of the people who come in contact with him and the effect the veil has on the minister himself. The entire story is a parable about sin and how we cannot hide it from ourselves or anyone else.
I believe the minister wore the black veil because he had sinned and he wanted to demonstrate to his congregation how sin could separate a person from others. His sermon on day he first wore the veil made reference to secret sin and "those sad mysteries which we hide from our nearest and dearest, and would fain conceal from our own consciousness". Perhaps his sin was somehow connected to the woman who died that day. Therefore the veil is also being worn to show respect for the dead woman. Perhaps he knew what caused her death or he somehow caused it. It is also possible that he had an affair with her. The author says that the corpse is the only person who sees under the mask once he starts wearing it, this shows that the dead woman knows why he is wearing it. Additionally, when they are walking down the street during the funeral it is as if the minister is walking with the spirit of the dead woman. I think this shows some connection between the wearing of the veil and the death of the woman.
The wearing of the veil had a dramatic impact on the people of his community, the minister himself and on the person reading the story.