Sin was apart of puritan’s everyday lives. In Jonathan Edwards “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Minister’s Black Veil”, both have similarities and address the same concepts. In Edwards’s sermon, he uses many scare tactics, while Hawthorne left people to ponder his main purpose.
While some would characterize Jonathan Edwards as dark and deep, the character of Parson Hooper challenges the readers u derstanding of Puritan ideals of religion by wearing a black veil over his face to show that everyone has secret sin.Both “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” and “The Minister’s Black Veil” use imagery but Hawthorne ends the story leading readers with questions. In Hawthorne’s story, he wrote, “The grass of many years has sprung up and withered on that grave, the burial stone is moss-grown, and good Mr. Hooper’s fave is dust; but awful is still the thought that it mouldered beneath the Black Veil” (p.14)! What Hawthorne means by this is that Mr. Hooper has committed such a bad sin, that Hooper wore a black veil over his face for eternity. Rather than using imagery, Edwards is more straight up when he says “God has laid himself under no o ligation, by any promise to keep any natural out of hell one moment”(3). Edwards use of imagery points out that he does not hesitate on what to say.Edwards uses specific diction to show God’s wrath to those who sinned.
Hawthorne uses powerful diction to show the effects on Hooper and the people. “But the bride’s cold fingers quivered in the tremulous hand of the bridegroom, and her death-like paleness caused a whiser that the maiden who had been buried a few hours before was come from her grave to be married.” This quote portrays the reactis of the Puritan people referring the veil itself. It displays how the veil creates an image of displeasure throughout the crowd because the veil is normally worn at funerals, and it is being worn at a wedding. Hawthorne writes this to show how much of a small change can affect people.This in many ways, pushes people away from Hooper ; even his fiancé refuses to marry him because he doesn’t want to reveal his face. The way Hawthorne uses third person limited made this black veil a kind of mystery. We knew what everyone else was thinking and how they felt about the veil, ut we never found out why Mr. Hooper was wearing it or how he felt when people left him lonely. In my opinion Hawthorne wanted you to feel and look at things in a different way after reading his story and this is what made his story so effective.
Although Edwards and Hawthorne share similarities in writing styles such as their use of figurative language, I prefer Hawthorne’s writing because it made me look at people in a different way, realizing that everyone has sins and secrets. The way Hawthorne used a black veil in his story to get his point across drew me in closer; it made me want to figure out its purpose. The power held by a piece of clothe and the effect it can have to the surrounding people in this story really surprised me. The way he made such a simple object a big deal is why I prefer Nathaniel Hawthorne to Jonathan Edwards.