Monday, November 16, 2009

Fishbowl #2: "The Minister's Black Veil"


Enjoy your discussion of "The Minister's Black Veil" today. Remember the following:
1. Double check your spelling and grammar; your posts should be professional.
2. Bring in passages from the story when possible.
3. Remember that this is your way of showing me your entire understanding of the story; your questions and comments should be unique.
4. Hit F5 to refresh.
5. Enjoy!

97 comments:

  1. I didn't really get the ending... At the beginning, when teh new minister didn't arrive as expected, Sexton says the other minister is attending a funeral service, however, the usual minister (Hooper) is wearing a black veil as though he is trying to hide something. The way Mr. Hooper is described on page 4, do you think he is a ghost???

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  2. i think the black veil was purely symbolic and the minister was using his life as an example of how impossible it is to run from our sins hide our secrets

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  3. I don't think there was physically something underneath the veil but he was wearing for a purpose. Like making a statement to everyone.

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  4. I'm not sure why he wore the black veil. It was really hard to figure that out, but I guess if we look at other gothic stories, he could be hiding something of his past.

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  5. was the black veil a symbol of something more

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  6. I think that the minister is hiding his face with the veil to hide himself from his sins.

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  7. I don't think there was anything under the black veil but i agree with Chris I think the veil was the ministers way of hiding all his secret sins.

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  8. Not being able to see his face was frightening. Just like from what we discussed today, not seeing one part can come across as frightening.

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  9. i dont think the minister is a ghost, i think he may have had a vivid epiphany of some sort that made him acutely aware of everyones 'black veils', and that made him so melancholy and pale...

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  10. I think the whole purpose of wearing the veil was to set an example for the rest of the people, like, if he was so ashamed of his sins that he had to wear it, then other people do not want to sin so they wouldn't be put in that situation.

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  11. I don't think he was hiding anything i think he might have just been mourning the girl who died.

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  12. But who's funeral do you think the other minister is attending? I don't know why, but I got the idea it was Hoopers.

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  13. Now that I think of it Morgan, I think he is either a ghost (maybe it was HIS funeral) or there was just something really abnormal about him, like he was possessed or something.

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  14. i think the black veil was a way for Hooper to recognize his sin, whereas the other people in the society acted as if they had no sin. The veil may also have been a way to cover up a large sin, but we aren't given enough evidence to make a theory whether or not Hooper committed an awful sin

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  15. On page 5 there was a quote that said, "There may be whispers that you hide your face under the consciousness of secret sin." I think that the reason why he wore the black veil was because he was ashamed to show his face because of sins he had committed.

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  16. Mr. Hooper says on page 5 that, "there is an hour to come when all of us shall cast aside our veils." what does he mean by "all of us?" and what time is he talking about?

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  17. I think they didn't take off the veil because they finally started to respect his opinion and wanted let him have his last wish of keeping it on. If he wanted them to take it off then he would have done it or would have said for them to take it off when he died.

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  18. why do you guys think he didnt want them to take off the viel even when he was on his death bed? was he too ashamed of his sin so he didnt want to be revealed until he had left the earth?

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  19. i dont think the minister had some giant sin he was hiding or a terrible past he was running from, i think he was trying to show the people that it is impossible to be perfect and that we all live with a black veil over our eyes until the moment we die. he was just making that idea literal

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  20. Rachel, why would he be possessed?

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  21. I don't think he is trying to hide anything by wearing the black veil but instead it symbolizes something greater.

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  22. When he says that the earth has a veil too he is just saying that everybody sins.

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  23. I agree with Xavia that he is something familiar to them but the veil was something different and made it the uncanny of the story. It was scary to see something different to someone so familiar.

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  24. I dont think he wanted to wear the veil. When his wife made him decide between wearing the veil and keeping her he didnt want his wife to leave but he couldnt take off the veil. But i got the impression something was making him wear it.

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  25. Grant- Maybe he is talking about getting rid of their sins. So maybe "casting away their veils" is having their sins forgiven.

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  26. I think the minister did something that he really regrets and he cant stand to look at himself in the face and he doesn't want others to see his impurity.

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  27. Due to Hooper's request, they buried him in his veil. that is what is occurring at the funeral. This was an act of burying Hooper along with the secret of the veil, and its importance might never be truly known

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  28. I agree with April when she says that maybe Hooper was just trying to make a point. Was the point he was trying to make something about death? Like did he think that the society he lives in is dying or wanting the people to see the good in the world, and realize that there is bad. Maybe this town is really naive?

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  29. On the second page of the reading it described the vale as if it was almost another person that had taken over him. I believe the vale was a symbol of something he had done that had enveloped him in guilt.

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  30. If he wants to mourn (the people in the town get the same privalages) why won't they let the minister mourn then???

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  31. He wont take it off even when he is on his death bed because he was STILL trying to make a point, even when he was about to die.

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  32. Angelica-
    I agree, I think he didn't want to show what was hidden because he was ashamed of his sin. Or he could have just wanted to keep them guessing.

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  33. What if the veil was there not to hide sins but to stop them from coming in?

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  34. i think in the Crucible it is alike because they are hiding something

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  35. Angelica, I think he might of ashamed, that maybe he wanted to die or to have his sins die with him.

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  36. i think he didnt want to take the veil off on his deathbed because when he fist put it on he swore to himself that the veil would not be lifted from his face during his lifetime on earth. and it was his dying wish, so those around him respected that.

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  37. I agree with Natalie. I think that maybe there was something that was holding him to it when he was wearing the veil. I believe that he didn't want his wife to leave but maybe he didn't have a choice.

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  38. I agree with Nowlan, I think the veil symbolized something really bad he had done and that he felt extremely guilty about it.

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  39. Why would Hooper's wife leave him when he wouldn't tell her his secret? Did she think his sin may have had something to do with the funeral of the corpse, as he may have done something unspeakable with her? Maybe that could have ultimately been the reason for the veil.

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  40. I definitely think that this story is showing a lot of elements of the uncanny. The minister is a publicly familiar person, everyone in a small Puritan town knows the minister. The unfamiliar aspect of him that makes it uncanny is his black veil. It shields his face from anyone's view which makes the people around him uncomfortable.

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  41. i think there is a supernatural aspect to the veil and something bigger than his will power compelling him to wear it

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  42. I don't think that he is hiding his face because of his sins. As a pastor, he would know that his sins will be forgiven if he asks God for forgiveness. The only way I think it would be tied to sin is if there was a sin he committed that everyone knew about. And we know that this is not the case since everyone in the town, including his wife, are shocked by the fact that he is wearing the veil.

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  43. i agree with Andrew i think the veil was a way for the minister to remind himself of his sin to punish him every day from the guilt and from being all the alone

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  44. Xavia and Angelica- He says on page 5 that "There is an hour to come...when all of us shall cast aside our veils. Take it not amiss, beloved friend, if I wear this piece of crape till then."

    So that answers your question. He's keeping it on until everyone learns their lessons.

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  45. Ryan-
    How would it be able to stop sins from coming in?

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  46. Nowlan-
    I agree, I don't think it was a sickness that made him cover his face because the sickness would have enveloped his whole face not just eyes and nose. I think that maybe he was ashamed of either his sin or the world's sin.

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  47. I agree with christian. I dont think he is hiding anything because he randomly put the black veil on. Mr. Hopper couldnt take the black veil off because he wanted to be seperated from the world. Maybe he did something wrong and felt guilty.

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  48. Well, possession is a real thing, whether the world believes in it or not. Usually possession involves demons that take over their thoughts and actions, convincing them to do wrong things and harming themselves. Yes, in this story and in the world, ministers and pastors seems like little goody two shoes, but this can happen to anyone. that's why it may have surprised the town so much.

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  49. I agree with Nowlan. The veil seemed to be another person or thing that had taken over him and covered him with sin and guilt. Like on page 4 at the bottom the author says that the crape, "Seemed to hang down before his heart, the symbol of a fearful secret between him and them." The veil was a road block between him and the real world.

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  50. Why did this one action of him wearing the veil take over all conversation and life of the society?

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  51. Dana-
    What is the lesson you think he thinks everyone ought to learn?

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  52. I think that the reason why he didn't want to take the veil off even on his deathbed was maybe because he wanted to show that he had sinned. Maybe that was his way of asking for forgiveness by showing that he had sinned and that he felt guilty about it.

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  53. I think it's also so different cause a veil is normally something a woman wears.

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  54. i agree with angelica and andrew!!!! :) i think he might be punishing himself for a sin he feels guilty about.

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  55. On page 4 the veil is described again and is said to bring more gloom to the funeral earlier that day and the only thing it could bring to the wedding was evil. The veil is seen to be a thing of evil that has taken over Mr. Hooper. Also in the same paragraph it says that when Mr. Hooper got a glimpse of himself that is caused him to drop his glass of wine and that the evil spirit of the black veil overwhelmed him.

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  56. Andrew- I think She leaves him because she is afraid that maybe his sins have something to do with her which is why he wont tell her his secret.

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  57. Okay, sin comes from the inside, not the outside. Just making that clear. It comes from your actions, and everyone CHOSES to sin. It's not just some thing we don't have any control over.

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  58. Maybe people came to him because they wanted to find out what is going on with him. I agree with Brian though that he is making a statement for the people that he can live through the darkness that envelopes him.

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  59. I think that the reason why him wearing the veil caused so much conversation in the town was because it was something that no one else had done before and people didn't quite understand his reason for doing it.

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  60. Morgan! - I think the lesson is that everyone sins, and everyone should confess their sins or else be stuck with them until the day they die. If they don't, then they will be cursed with the burden of hiding it for the rest of their lives, like he had to do- with the veil.

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  61. What is the significance of the capitalization of the Black Veil at the end of the first paragraph on page 4? Would that make it a name of someone or something real not just a symbol?

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  62. I still think the veil could have been there to hold sins out, not to keep them in.

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  63. Maybe he always wore the black veil to remind him of his past to never forget something, and he wanted it to remain with him even after death.

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  64. I agree with dana you cant live your life with your wife/husband if they wont even tell you why they are covering their face.

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  65. Sam, I agree when you say there is possibly some supernatural aspect that he has no control over. That's why i brought up possession.

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  66. dana
    what lesson do you think he would be teaching?

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  67. i agree with casey- this story reflects the idea of an uncanny because the pastor is something familiar and the black veil is the unfamiliar. Maybe this is why the town was so frightened by Mr. Hopper after he put on the veil.

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  68. on page 3, it even shows the superstitions that he may have had a sin with the corpse of the woman. "'i had a fancy,' replied she, 'that the minister and the maidens spirit were walking hand in hand.'"

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  69. Is he hiding a secret about the corpse?

    What does the town's reaction to this change say about the power of the unknown within religious affairs?

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  70. Emma-
    But he could have asked for forgiveness and the people in the town would have forgiven him real easy! Because the town normally does love Hooper. Only when he starts wearing this veil do they start discriminating

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  71. Ryan- What sins is he holding out?

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  72. Elizabeth- I think it was because it was something so out there that nobody expected it. In the beginning they described him as an average priest that did his usual thing than once this happened, it caught everyone off guard and then everyone just started to gossip about it.

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  73. Elizabeth-
    I think the veil took over conversation and life in the village because the minister is supposed to be a familiar character and someone who is not supposed to be guarded. And the veil makes him unfamiliar and guarded.

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  74. Yeah i agree with Beau that you cant have a realationship and keep stuff in like that

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  75. the veil is definitely what makes this story uncanny. we communicate so much with our eyes, so covering them up conveyed a huge message while simultaneously cutting him off from his friends, neighbors and wife. he sacrificed his personal pleasure in order to show people there is hope. the physical presence of the veil made people realize that their problems wont just go away but there is a solution. they came from miles around to hear the minister preach and to find out how to lift their own 'veils' and find freedom/happiness.

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  76. Nowlan,
    Maybe it was like Samantha was saying about how there was some supernatural thing related to the veil.

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  77. Elizabeth,

    I think that the unknown that was caused by the veil is what disturbed so many people and disrupted Mr. Hooper's life. As humans, we don't like it when we don't understand things; so we often times invent ideas to explain the unknown.That is how I think the idea that he was hiding his sins came up; to explain what was unknown.

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  78. I agree with Beau and Joe. I can understand that his wife left him, that would be hard to live with your husband or wife when all they are doing is keeping secrets from you. But if he was wearing this veil to grieve, he risked losing his wife for it and now he has more reasons to grieve if he really loved her.

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  79. Sins can't be held out by anything. they happen to everyone, everyone does them, and I'm pretty sure everyone wants to forget about them. No one likes holding on to something they know they did wrong or feel uncomfortable about.

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  80. Dana- the sins all around him he talks about these "secrete" sins during the church thing maybe he doesn't want to see others sin anymore.

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  81. I agree with Aaron, I think that part of the reason why everyone in town freaked out about him wearing the veil was because it made him unfamiliar to them and it kind of scared them. Like the Uncanny.

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  82. Nowlan-
    I think the capitalized the words because the author wanted to make the veil seem more important and it makes it draws the readers focus to the veil.

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  83. I agree with Brian because the minister was familiar but the dark black veil was unfamiliar especially on a man because it was a veil that a woman would wear to a funeral.

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  84. I like on page 2 when it says that "the pale-faced congregation was almost as fearful a sight to the minister, as his black veil to them." I think that he was having the same feeling towards their reaction as they were having towards his black veil.

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  85. Nowlan--
    It seems like the Black Veil is becoming its own entity and taking over the identity of the minister. It could just be used to show emphasis without being too blatant.

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  86. I think that it's hard to hide your sins. Even if you can mask it against others, you are still living in that dark shadow of your sins.

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  87. Ryan- I agree he doesn't want to see the others sin- maybe thats why he wears it at all so he wont have to "see" them. But i don't think hes really like blocking them out. He's just trying to make a point.

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  88. The town was afraid of the black veil because it was something that seemed so normal and real but it seemed to hide something or keep a secret of some large picture that could be threatening to the whole town. I believe the veil represents the sin that blackens the heart of all peoples and that every person sins even the minister.

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  89. It's called guilt. Like Alex said.

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  90. I think he is trying to tell us that no one is perfect and everyone has sins. You can't hide from your sins and like Corbin said, the black veil is just another way to show that you have sinned and that it is impossible to cover up your sins.

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  91. I agree with you Xavia that it's pretty much impossible to hide your sins, especially from yourself.

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  92. I think this is telling us that everyone sins and you can't stop people from sinning because its always going to happen no matter what.

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  93. I think that the veil is something that Hooper has come to use as a for of security. He knows that it is not something that he has to wear but yet he tests relationships and even sacrifices his own reputation to feel secure. Why does the society he lives in find it so strange for a man to wear a veil, if a woman walked into town wearing a veil no one would think twice about it? The judgement he recieves fro mhis community seems to somewhat intrigue him and makes him feel a facet of power. Everyone is dying to know whats beneath the veil? What is he hiding? Whay hasn't he revealed himself even to his closet friends? The veil could even be a way into his past, if removed would a river of secrets be revealed and was it even the veil that lead to his death?

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  94. I think the veil represents a type of fear as well as sin. The minister has become this figure who no one wants to even see. Just by wearing something we see every day he becomes this figure that no one wants to even look at. He saw the same people every sunday, the only thing is he wasn't wearing a black veil. The veil in this situation is the uncanny. People see black every day, not in the form of a veil but black is still a color in our society. It became the uncanny when they saw this nice minister hiding his face, making him mysterious and different. Part of me thinks that he was only wearing the veil to prove that our society is made up of judgements. We judge people not by who they are but by what they wear. The people he would eat with at brunch and talk to every day, wouldn't even look at him let alone talk to him. Does the veil really change who he is or just the idea of who he is?

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  95. I think the the veil in this story represented being exposed of your sins. Others thought that it represented hiding Hooper's sins, but he was seen as a holy man until he decided to expose his secrets through this black veil. It is interesting that changing something as little as his appearance drastically changed what the townsfolk thought of him. "Perhaps the pale-faced congregation was almost as fearful a sigh to the minister, as his black veil to them"(Hawthorne 2). He was still the same man that they knew beforehand and said the same things, only they could not see his eyes or nose. I think that the eyes are the feature that distinguishes a person the most and almost is a "window in your sole" and taking that away from people feels impersonal. If someone did this in our society today I think people would react the same way. It would be nearly impossible to trust someone that you can't see their eyes. It's an interesting psychological aspect of human beings that we get so much from such a tiny feature.

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