Wife of bath character analysis

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One of the most serious crimes that go generally unnoticed is domestic abuse. Typically the abused’s family will either not notice or ignore the signs until it is too late. Physical abuse is the easiest to spot, sexual abuse leaves the deepest scars, and emotional abuse is the hardest to recover from. The most under reported abuse stems from wives abusing their husbands due to shame, fear of retaliation, and the fear of not being believed by authorities. Anyone can be abused, any day, any time, even in the past abuse like this existed, but there wasn’t a term for it, especially if it was your wife. Likely you would be told that she’s a little rambunctious or noisy and she will calm down, but that may not be the problem. The Wife of Bath in…show more content…
This strike, after she tore out pages of Jenkin’s book of horrible wives, a tool of his emotional abuse, is her first clear admittance to striking her husbands for not complying with her demands. This is proof of escalation in abuse since most abusers begin with emotional abuse and move up to physical/sexual abuse after enough time has passed where the abused believes that they either deserve the abuse or believes it is merely normal. Jenkin’s retaliation to her strike is one of his own, further proving that the Wife has met her match, an abuser for an abuser. The Wife gets a final hit it after being struck, hard enough to become deaf in one ear, and Jenkin immediately begins to apologize and promises never to do it again, a common practice for abusers, when she lures him close and strikes him again (783-800). This highlights that perhaps the Wife and Jenkin are two different types of abusers, Jenkin could be considered a typical abuser due to the familiar patterns while the Wife make be different. She ends her prologue unrepentant of her actions towards her husbands and made peace with Jenkin by being placated with money. Possibly through closer study, one may be able to place that she could have a type of social apathy, one that allows her to abuse until she feels that she has gathered enough. The Wife of Bath in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales uses
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