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Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales Essay

651 words - 3 pages

Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

While the majority of literary classics today do well at engaging the reader and allowing them a vicarious understanding of a fictitious character’s life, Chaucer found a way to engage more than just the reader and the character. In his Canterbury Tales, Chaucer masterfully links together himself as the author, himself as a character in the story, the other characters, and then finally the readers. Chaucer’s “narrative flow” forms a type of giant sphere, where connections can be made from both characters and real people to characters connecting with other characters. Starting with Chaucer-the man, it is apparent that he is looking at his characters, the pilgrims on their journey. As he is writing their stories and descriptions, Chaucer is creating them to emulate people he has found in real life. Chaucer watches his own created characters to see how they react and therefore expresses his personal views of certain classes of people. Chaucer-the man also sees Chaucer-the pilgrim. Like his created pilgrims in the story, Chaucer has found a way to put himself into the tale and therefore express some of the ideas that Chaucer-the man could only write. Chaucer-the pilgrim can tell of the views Chaucer-the man holds while keeping with a fictitious storyline. Chaucer-the man also has a view of the readers who will be connecting with his story. While writing out his drama, Chaucer-the man had to estimate how the readers would respond and stay aware that they are the ones he is aiming his views at, the ones he is attempting to make aware of his time-period’s social classes and their fallacies.

The pilgrims in the story, however much Chaucer-the man is looking at them, have no view of him. The pilgrims in the story show no awareness that they are simple characters in a story and have no connection with their...

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