A Simple Plan Vs Pardoner's Tale Advanced English Essay

1061 words - 5 pages

A transformation takes an older text, and revitalises it by changing its values and ideas to reach a new context. This process of transformation is evident in Sam Raimi’s A Simple Plan, a 1998 transformation of Geoffrey Chaucer’s 14th century poem, The Pardoner’s Tale. Both texts share the core theme that ‘greed is the root of all evil’. The Pardoner’s Tale reflects 14th century values, as it depicts the consequences of sin by using images and motifs of death and relies on a belief in the need of God’s forgiveness to achieve eternal life. A Simple Plan conveys the same timeless problems against a new context. The transformation of The Pardoners Tale into A Simple Plan has allowed Raimi to demonstrate that despite the new values emerging in the new context, the human condition is essentially unchanged as it always remains vulnerable to avarice. Both tales exhibit this idea from different perspectives to reflect the values of their context. The Pardoners Tale reflects a religious society where sin is punished by God whereas A Simple Plan depicts a humanistic focus where sin is punished by the self.

The Pardoners Tale acts as a moral anecdote, and portrays how the degradation of morality through the use of protagonists can lead to corruption of society, and that everyone, even someone of high status is susceptible to corruption. All humans are flawed, as portrayed through the Pardoner himself. He is affected by personal corruption as evident in his prologue through greed and temptation. As a religious leader, he is well respected, and renowned to have honourable morals which reflect his position in the 14th century social order. The irony is, that the pardoner's morals are based on his personal greed, and not at all the Catholic Church and his people "myn entente is nat but for to wynne, and noything for correction of synne", meaning he’s only in it for the money, not for cleansing immortal souls. which is where his morals should be. Raimi also explores the idea that everyone, no matter their status has the ability to be affected by corruption through moral degradation, as demonstrated through the protagonist, Hank. Hank begins as a well-respected man in his community and is a portrait of the typical all American man. The symbolism of his home as a typical basic weatherboard home in a pleasant setting, viewers are led to believe that Hank and his wife Sarah are living the American dream, and have everything they desire. The film criticises the idealised concept of the American dream, suggesting that it is unattainable and destructive. It shows that humans are capable of the worst, driven by self-interest and greed and the danger of who we become when we try to achieve an ideal, regardless of its loss of morality as three men who negate moral responsibility when confronted by an unclaimed pile of money. Their attempts to at keeping the money go awry and lead to their moral destruction.

Deception is also a relevant theme as it portrays how...

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