Sit and Spin:
Chaucer’s social commentary grows from so-called “intrusion”
The relationship Geoffrey Chaucer establishes between “outsiders” and “insiders” in The Canterbury Tales provides the primary fuel for the poetry’s social commentary. Both tales and moments within tales describing instances of intrusion work to create a sense of proper order disturbed in the imaginary, structured universes presented by the pilgrims. The perturbances, conflicts born of these examples of, “intrusion into the inner circle,”
showed first 75 words of 1766 total
showed last 75 words of 1766 total
his Summoner too evil. Perhaps he fancied himself as something of a relativist—he believed he could objectively assess each character in a humorous fashion. But that theory seems to discount some of the soul of his work. The only conflict he creates sparks between social classes, but he makes no winners or losers, no good or evil. So there exists a floating, amorphous quality to the poetry, perhaps born of Chaucer’s premature death.