Women's Worth Essay

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Annabell Creider Ms. Bond English 10H per. 3A 14 November 2011 Women’s Worth Chaucer and feminism go together like fire and rain. When one is present, the other can no longer remain. He expresses a mixed view of women through The Canterbury Tales, his book about 29 people on a pilgrimage to Canterbury in order (for most) to pray to St. Augustine. Contained in this book are tales told by each character on their way to Canterbury, some of which express Chaucer’s view of women through subtle details and themes. Specifically in “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” and “The Miller’s Tales,” the author exemplifies the desirable and undesirable qualities of women in relation to the quote, “Women in Chaucer are idealized objects of desire,” through the elderly women and the unfaithful Alison. The old woman in “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” exemplifies the attractive qualities of faithfulness and wisdom but the unattractive qualities of old age and ugliness. By giving the Knight the answer to his question, the elderly woman expresses one of her enticing traits of wisdom. Her wisdom is the trait which is most evident in the beginning of the story however once the Knight promises to marry her, the old woman’s unattractiveness becomes apparent to him. This undesirable quality she possesses allows a trait of all humans to come out; humans are attracted to people mainly based on outward appearance, thus the old woman being the way she is helps to elaborate on the idea of inward beauty not outward. At this point, the old woman is not considered an object of desire due to her lack of beauty. However, she transforms into a beautiful young lady because the Knight gave her the option of being either beautiful and wicked or hideous but benevolent. Once this transformation occurs, she is now considered an object of desire. In addition to being beautiful she is wise and promises to

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