Only on Judgment Day, in the “sunshine of eternity,” will a person’s veil be removed.
Accompanying the story is a note by Hawthorne about an actual minister who had lived in eighteenth century York, Maine.
Nathaniel Hawthorne is considered by many a towering figure of American literary history.
His works include children’s stories, nonfiction sketches, a presidential campaign biography of Franklin Pierce, four major novels, and essays.
The center of this story is the effect of the veil.
Hooper tells Elizabeth it is a symbol, but he does not interpret it.
Isolation is a central theme in his works, perhaps because he was a solitary child of a widowed recluse.
After college, he was alone again for twelve years before he married.
The reasons for the minister's actions and their implications are never fully explained, leaving readers to ponder Hawthorne's meaning.
As in such works as "Young Goodman Brown" (1835) and The Scarlet Letter (1850), Hawthorne employed the settings and themes that are characteristic of his fiction: a Puritan New England setting, a fascination with the secret sins of humanity, the transformation of an object into a symbol, a dark, somber tone, and a reliance on ambiguity.