Modern Day Canterbury Tale

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Meredith Heintz 6 February 2013 Essay #1 FINAL DRAFT ENG 102, Dr. Mera Ford ESSAY #1 – Imitative Various places and events of particular significance can draw people of all types from all over the world to a centralized location or locations. Individuals, or large groups, can set out on a sort of pilgrimage which range from the secular to the non-secular. A timely, non-secular example of a pilgrimage would be the uniquely American phenomenon that is the Superbowl; a single sporting event that has become so much more than a final football game to close the sport’s season. The Superbowl is the culminating point for Football fans across the nation and in particularly for the devoted fans of either competing team. Held, typically, on a neutral playing field the Superbowl attracts revelers from all over the country to a specific location to pay homage to the great American sport. This event speaks volumes about the state of culture, or the shift in our American culture, from the secular to non-secular. Certain pilgrimages still hold much more of a religious meaning to the partakers in the pilgrimage; spanning across all religions including Christianity but not excluding; Judaism, Islam, and even Buddhism and Hinduism. In fact, in Hinduism, the pilgrimage to various holy places along the Holy River Ganges is regarded to be the largest religious gathering in the world. Upwards of 70 million people partake in this ritual every three years (Maygers, 2011). Compared to the humble number of the travelers in The Canterbury Tales, our medieval comparison of a pilgrimage, is dwarfed by the size of the Hindu practice that spans across a region much larger in distance than the distance from Southwark to Canterbury. Though I have not studied ancient or even modern Hindu religious texts or travel writing, I have studied The Canterbury Tales a number of times. Each
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