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Comparison of 'The Minister's Black Veil' And 'The Pit And The Pendulum'

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There are many people in this world, you see the good and the evil, but even the good people have sinned or have something evil about them. The Minister's Black Veil and the Pit and the Pendulum are two short stories written in completely different content but yet still very similar. Dealing with people not wanting to accept what they have done wrong or that they have sinned, being tortured and terrified. Both these stories are dark, creepy, and gothic with one about people being accepting the other about terror and torture. Yet they still find a way to teach a very important lesson and have similar points and ideas that go along with it.

Death is something we all fear and like to believe won't happen to us, but we all have to face it at some point. In 'The Minister's Black Veil' the veil represents sin. How everyone sins in their life and no one is sin-free not even the minister who is supposed to be the top. He wears it so everyone knows that death will eventually come and will claim you and your sins. 'There is an hour to come when all of us shall cast aside our veils'. In 'The Pit and the Pendulum' the prisoner is being tutored and has no will to survive anymore. He fears the pit and everything he is surrounded by, he believes if he jumps he will end all the pain because death was better than surviving at that point. 'I was sick - sick unto death with that long agony.' We all go through pain but our decisions in life and what we do next is what determines everything. That's what the minister was trying to tell his congregation by wearing the veil and that's something the prisoner needed to learn.

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The congregation doesn't understand where the minister is coming from and why he is wearing the veil. The minister said, 'If I hide my face for sorrow, there is cause enough,- and if I cover it for secret sin, what mortal might not do the same?' try to get the people across that something it's ok to hide, but don't hide behind sins because then what kind of person are you trying to pretend to be. The Minister was sent to isolation by his congregation for trying to show the people their wrong doings. The prisoner was sentenced to death by the soldiers. In this way both the main characters from the short stories were put to shame and put in isolation. Even though the minister was someone people were supposed to trust and thought highly of they treated him very bad even though he was trying to help. The prisoner was being tutored and treated terribly by the soldiers. Even though the minister was tutored like the prisoner was he still was being treated bad just in a different way. His own people doubted him and didn't believe in him.

Fear is something else that makes everyone uncomfortable, something everyone has and doesn't want to face. The congregation was afraid to hear that they have sinned, they are afraid to accept that they aren't perfect. The Prisoner in 'The Pit and the Pendulum' was afraid of everything around him. He was being tutored and taunting by the pendulum and other tutoring devices. The pit was placed to represent fear itself. The minister was someone high in the church he represented good but still had evil parts to him and he still had feared. The prisoner was someone who was evil enough to be sentenced to death and feared everything around him.

Both these stories use unusual dark events to interest the reader. Teaching us people aren't always what they seem, good can be evil and evil may be good. The minister's veil was to represent the sins and to show everyone that you have to accept the fact that you sinned to be saved, if not death can come and claim you. Even after the minister died no one understood what was his reasoning behind the veil, they never listened to him.'in this manner, Mr. Hooper spent a long life, irreproachable in outward act, yet shrouded in dismal suspicions; kind and loving, though unloved, and dimly feared; a man apart from men'. The prisoner was giving up and was ready for all the pain to end and he jumps into the pit to end the fear. Everything happens for a reason, and light can come out of even the darkest situations.

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Comparison of ‘The Minister’s Black Veil’ And ‘The Pit And The Pendulum’. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 23, 2024, from
“Comparison of ‘The Minister’s Black Veil’ And ‘The Pit And The Pendulum’.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2022,
Comparison of ‘The Minister’s Black Veil’ And ‘The Pit And The Pendulum’. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 23 Feb. 2024].
Comparison of ‘The Minister’s Black Veil’ And ‘The Pit And The Pendulum’ [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 15 [cited 2024 Feb 23]. Available from:
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