The sexton is confused as to why Minister Hooper is wearing a black veil. He believes that he had potentially committed a sin and has inquiries. As Minister Hooper preaches his sermon, the church finds it particularly moving, as the texts says, "But there was something, either in the sentiment of the discourse itself, or in the imagination of the auditors, which made it greatly the most powerful effort that they had ever heard from their pastor’s lips."(Hawthorne 3)
No, I must keep my true self hidden.
Please. remove your veil.
The main conflict in the story is that the people around him are intimated, confused, and questionable about the black veil on his face and believe that he has committed a sin and is using his veil to cover his face as an act of humility and shame.
The Rising Action of The Minister's Black Veil begins when people continue to question his ways when he wears the veil to both a funeral and a wedding. They are surprised and confused as to why he continues to wear it. They display this confusion when, "When Mr. Hooper came, the first thing that their eyes rested on was the same horrible black veil, which had added deeper gloom to the funeral, and could portend nothing but evil to the wedding."(Hawthorne 6)
As Hooper is on his deathbed, and the townspeople attempt to remove his veil, he continues to refuse to remove his veil because he doesn't want to reveal his innermost secrets.
With his last breath, he refuses to remove his veil and passes away. People never saw his eyes and he symbolized secretiveness when he refused to remove his veil.
People reflect on Hooper's ways and decide that they all put on a facade to never truly reveal who they are and what they've done. It symbolizes the idea that we all sin.