“Fitting in” and Hawthorne’s “The Minister’s Black Veil: A Parable”

  • Maya Higashi WakanaEmail author


In this short chapter, Maya Higashi Wakana uses the theories of microsociologist Erving Goffman in The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959), Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity (1963), and Interaction Ritual: Essays on Face-to-Face Behavior (1967) to acquaint readers with the basic tenets of the microsocial perspective as applied to the close reading of Hawthorne’s enigmatic tale, “The Minister’s Black Veil: A Parable” (1832). More specifically, the author demonstrates how Hawthorne’s story might be fruitfully understood as a tale about the microsocial morality of fitting in and it’s enabling as well as crippling effects rather than as a narrative about (semi-)religious themes, such as veils, secrets, and sin, or about epistemological uncertainty and allegorical meanings.


Black Veil Interaction Ritual Spoiled Identity Epistemological Uncertainty Frontstage 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ritsumeikan UniversityKyotoJapan

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