English 104 – Literature of Discovery: American
November 11, 2008
If nothing else so far in my assigned reading I am opening up to the profound differences in the moral and religious views of early American puritans and the views of the majority of Christians today. I was raised (and still consider myself, though not in an “active” sense) Catholic. I was taught that theoretically an individual could merely try as hard as possible in life to be Christ like. If the attempt failed, then at our dying breath, through mere faith, and true remorse, we could still attain heaven. Early Puritans did not embrace that sort of thinking, I believe that in The Ministers Black Veil Reverend Hooper feels compelled not to hide possibly not a specific sin but rather to bring his inclination towards sinfulness to attention at all times. To me his was a pretty radical means of expression. However given the fire and brimstone moral attitudes of the time, I believe Reverend Hooper felt it was the correct thing to do. We never find out for sure whether he actually sinned at one time to the tremendous degree that many of the Parishioners believed he may have, or just felt the constant good V evil within himself. The attitudes of the Puritans didn’t give much space between a committed sin and a thought of sin. I found it interesting given the judgmental attitudes of the Puritans that they were so eager to find a specific “sin” that compelled him to wear the veil. They found it odd that he wore it at all times, (even at joyful times, weddings, baptisms etc.) Doesn’t sin or inclination towards it always exist? I think it does and I’m sure given their attitudes they felt the same, but didn’t like having it “in their faces” (so to speak) at all times. They considered themselves pious and holy, so naturally didn’t want to be reminded of their own imperfection. Could that be one of the reasons he wore the veil? I think it may have been. Reverend...