Essay about Analysis of "Alison" from the Millers Tale, Canterbury Tales

664 Words Sep 21st, 2006 3 Pages
Class: English 2010.105
Professor: Dr. Arnold
Student: Bob Jackson
Date: September 7, 1999
Title: Analysis of "Alison" from The Millers Tale, Canterbury Tales

In "The Miller's Tale," the character of Alison is introduced as the 18-year-old wife of a carpenter who is much older than the woman. The author's description of the young wife seems to suggest that she was so wild, beautiful, and desirable that the old man had a difficult time containing his jealousy.
Chaucer uses a number of expressions to "paint" a picture of the young wife. The use of the term "paint" is intentional here, since Chaucer seems to be "painting" (with words) the image of a picture perfect young woman who resembles a "painted" porcelain doll.
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Up to this point, the reader might think the young wife was an innocent youth, singing and dancing her way through life, wearing white dresses and driving her older husband crazy. But there is a dark side to her personality too.
The reader is told that while the young wife is made up and dressed like a little doll, it wouldn't be much of a stretch for men to see her as a prostitute or a slut. He even states in the last line of this section that for some men, the young carpenter's wife looks like the kind of woman they'd like to take to bed, others would see her as the kind they'd like to take home to meet their mother (she was a flower "For any lord to leggen in his bedde, or yit for any good yeman to wedde.").
It is obvious that while the older carpenter has married a young lusty woman who is full of life, it could be a difficult situation for him depending upon how other men are viewing his new wife. On the one hand, people will see her as a lovely innocent woman, while on the other hand, because she is too picture perfect and overly concerned about her appearance, she may (with her wanton eye) be giving people the idea that is interested in more than the
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