The beginning of the story takes place in the Puritan town of Milford. The townspeople gather around to attend morning service, also known as the Sabbath. People were astonished to see Mr. Hooper wearing a black veil. The black veil consisted of two folds of crape, which completely covered his face except for his mouth and his chin.
I look around me, and, lo! on every visage a Black Veil.
Mr. Hooper wears a black veil that emits a gloomy mood in the atmosphere. People around Mr. Hooper feel as if Mr. Hooper could see their deepest secrets and sins they have committed. The black veil symbolizes the idea of one having secret sins. Mr. Hooper attends a funeral, wearing the black veil which causes people at the funeral to be frightened. During a wedding, Mr. Hooper also wears the black veil. However, the bride and groom believe that the black veil is an evil sign.
The townspeople gossip about Mr. Hooper's black veil. They are afraid to ask Mr. Hooper about the black veil, except for Elizabeth, Mr. Hooper's fiance. Elizabeth attempts to convince Mr. Hooper to take off the black veil. Mr. Hooper has some form of secret sin which causes him to continue wearing the veil, as a punishment for his sin. Mr. Hooper evaded the idea of removing his black veil. Due to Mr. Hooper's noncompliance to remove the black veil, Elizabeth ends up leaving Mr. Hooper. Mr. Hooper continues to wear the black veil without taking it off for many years. It gives comfort to those dying and his acknowledgement that he understands the sin they have committed.
Mr. Hooper later becomes known as Father Hooper. Reverend Clark and Elizabeth attempt to persuade Mr. Hooper to remove the black veil on his face. However, they unsuccessfully do so. Father Hooper calls people out for the discrimination against his black veil. Father Hooper tells the townspeople that the also wear a black veil on their face. This alludes to the symbolism of the black veil that the townspeople also have some form of secret sin that other people are unaware of.
As the auditors attempt to convince Father Hooper to remove the black veil, Father Hooper becomes strictly against the idea of the black veil, which symbolizes a form of secret sin, to be taken off. The auditors with Mr. Hooper in the room were afraid of Mr. Hooper's sudden outburst. Father Hooper fell back upon his pillow, a veiled corpse, with a faint smile displayed on his face after his speech of people having some type of secret sin.
Father Hooper was still veiled as the auditors laid him in his coffin, and as a veiled corpse they bore him to the grave. Father Hooper is buried with the black veil still on his face.