Metaphor in The Minister's Black Veil
Although Elizabeth does not know the purpose of the veil, this line serves as a metaphor for how Hooper hides his own goodness by wearing the mask of sin. She wants simply to see his face; however, readers understand the veil doesn’t simply hide Hooper’s face, but rather it represents the hidden sins of all humankind.
Here we recognize the metaphorical significance of the veil: when one keeps a hidden sin on their heart, they lose themselves and they lose themselves and miss out on what life has to offer.. Whether the veil symbolizes Hooper’s own sin or all of humankind’s hidden sins does not alter the metaphor, because he dies misunderstood and saddened by the burden of hidden sins.
A reoccurring symbol in the story is the contrast between light and dark, with light symbolizing goodness and dark symbolizing evil. Here, darkness overcomes “the light of the candles,” perhaps indicating how darkness can overpower light.
Since the veil symbolizes hidden sins, we look for the influence of the veil to have a metaphorical meaning that contributes to the lesson of the parable. This seems to be a metaphor for how secretive sins can change the appearance, emotion, and entire personality of the sinner.