Symbolism in Hawthornes ” The Birthmark” and “The Ministers Black Veil”

Symbolism is the practice of representing things by means of symbols or of attributing symbolic meanings or significance to objects, events, or relationships. In both of Hawthorne’s short stories “The Ministers Black Veil” and “The Birthmark” show symbolism, “The Ministers Black Veil” symbolizes sin and strong will; “The Birthmark” symbolizes amour love and imperfection. “The Ministers Black Veil” is a story about a well-liked Minister in a small town named Mr. Hooper. As the story progresses Parson Hooper, a looked up to citizen and great preacher begins to wear a black veil that covers his face.

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The congregation of his church and people around town became curious, distraught, and somewhat afraid of the black veil he wore across his face and why a man of his stature would do such a thing. What did he do? What was he hiding? Throughout the story the veil stayed on and these questions were asked, the people became judgmental of the preacher and wondered if his sin was so bad that he didn’t want his face seen in church. One thing that caught my attention was how much ruckus this little black veil had caused.

He couldn’t walk out in public with out causing a scene, children would run away and scream, men and women would turn there heads, and stare at him like the man had a plague. His wife even ended up leaving him because she was frightened of what he was hiding or what he had done that caused him to put on a black veil. To the townspeople the black veil is a symbol for sin and what evil Mr. Hooper could have done to hide his face in sight of the Lord. I mean, the people didn’t even take the time to ask the man why he chose to wear it or if his spiritual well-being was ok.

Instead they assumed the worst, talk about him behind his back and make the situation ten times worse then it actually was, maybe he was trying out a new fashion statement for all we know. To me Mr. Hooper was a very strong willed individual and this is symbolized in this story, because not once did he back down from his decision of wearing the black veil even though the entire town even his wife was against the man. Like wise “The Birthmark” shows a lot of symbolism such as Amour love and imperfection.

In this story there is a drop dead gorgeous young lady by the name of Georgiana, and by the way Hawthorne describes her, she’s a perfect ten, except for one birthmark that exist on the side of her face. Despite what you might think Georgiana loves her birthmark, it is what made her unique and imperfect, because nobody is perfect so she embraces it. Georgiana is married to a man named Aylmer, and he’s pretty much a big selfish dick. One day he comes home and asks Georgiana what she thought about removing the birthmark because it “shocks” him every time he looks at her beautiful face.

Aylmer is selfish enough to ask if he could remove it and doesn’t even think of the consequences of what might happen after surgery, or considered that Georgiana was ok with her small imperfection. Aylmer finally convinces Georgiana to have the surgery to try and remove the birthmark. Test after test Georgiana sees that Aylmer is working relentlessly to remove her imperfection and hopes that if he succeeds then he will love her endlessly as much as she loves him. She has the surgery and after she awakes the birthmark is no longer on her face.

Aylmer is ecstatic that his experiment had worked, Georgiana sees how happy he that she is now “perfect” in his eyes but has nothing to say expect for “Poor Aylmer” because she know she is dying. The symbolism in this short story is that there is nothing perfect on this earth and by removing the imperfection Aylmer also removed Georgiana from the world. It was through Georgiana’s Amour love (deep compassionate love) for Aylmer that she was willing to go to the ends of the earth for him that he would share that same love for her even if it meant she had to die for him to realize it.