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Something More That Matters Essay

1074 words - 5 pages

As we read and experience any literature we tend to favor or identify better with certain characters better than others. In the telling of a story, in a film, a novel, we pick individuals who are depicted in the text and see them in a different light than the other characters. Chaucer’s General Prologue gives us a prim opportunity to select characters we prefer because of the vast amount he places before us. In the story the group is on a pilgrimage to Canterbury and the characters will each take a turn to tell a story that will present a certain moral. While reading this text three individuals easily stand out in a way separate from the others, they are those who do not seek the worldly things this their life could offer them, they are the Prioress, the Oxford Cleric, and the Parson. Each of these characters see themselves as being able to offer more to the world and they understand that there are more important things in this life then personal gain, they represent kindness, knowledge, and religion and live their lives in such a way that they are seeking for those virtues and not for material things.
The Prioress is the first character introduced in the Prologue who will be searching to better others and not just herself. Many people wish it was in their nature to be kind and to be sensitive but it is not a trait most are born with, it takes work and constant practice. The Prioress, in the sense of kindness and charity, is the type of person we often which we could be. “And to seem dignified in all her dealings. As for her sympathies and tender feelings, she was so charitably solicitous she used to weep if she but saw a mouse caught in a trap, if it were dead or bleeding. And she had little dogs she would be feeding with roasted flesh, or milk, or fine white bread. And bitterly she wept if one were dead or someone took a stick and made it smart; she was all sentiment and tender heart.”(General Prologue page 101 lines 144-154) The compassion Chaucer paints the Nun possessing qualities many of us wish we had to patience to perfect, her talent is one that should be greatly admired. The compassion we see in the Prioress sets her apart from the other travelers and she becomes unique, she becomes special because she can make others feel loved and important. We can all learn from this because, in life, we never know what another person my be going through so we must treat everyone with kindness though it is often very hard to do.
Similar to the Prioress, the Oxford Cleric is a character who is searching for something more than material gain, unlike the other individuals in the General Prologue. We have been encouraged all our lives to seek learning, to gain an education because an education will enable one to make more money and to benefit themselves. Chaucer’s Oxford Cleric demonstrates the value of gaining knowledge but also he proves that we should love to learn...

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