Inequality In The Canterbury Tales Essay

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In Geoffrey Chaucer’s novel The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer uses a series of satirical narratives in order to comment on the hypocrisies and transgressions occurring within the social hierarchy of late 14th century England. While the tales are not based on factual accounts of people from his time, each anecdote can be considered to contain realistic portrayals of the people from Chaucer’s time. Likewise, themes including religion, sin, and gender inequality used to shape each tale attest to the idea that the novel is timeless and universal. Therefore, in tales like “The Miller’s Tale” “The Wife of Bath’s Tale”, these ideas come together to comment on the inequalities often found within the larger theme of marriage, which is used to form the characters and their motivations, as well as their inevitable punishments. In “The Miller’s Tale”, the marriage between John the Carpenter and his younger wife, Alison, is subject to Chaucer’s criticism due to the inequality that lies within their relationship. Alison is described to be a “Fair young wife, her body as slender as any weasel’s and as soft and tender” (pg 90). John is considered to be a much older mate and therefore, is subject to a fit punishment, as he has “Fallen in the snare, and had to bear his cross as others bear” (pg 89). Throughout The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer is concerned with punishing social faux pas that occur within English society and often does so by retaliation or public humiliation. Additionally, John

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