A Look At The Pardoner — страница 3
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uncommon of these was by Professor George Kittredge of Harvard University. He believed that this was actually a moment of true sincerity by the Pardoner, and he was genuinely concerned about the well being of the other pilgrims spirits when he tried to sell them the pardons (Duino 322). Others believe that the goal of the Pardoner was the ultimate sell. If he could tell the pilgrims his method of selling first, and still successfully pull off the sell, it would have been the crowning success of his career as a seller of pardons (Duino 323). I believe, however, that Chaucer was just showing how accustomed the Pardoner was with using this tale in his sales pitch. At the immediate conclusion of his tale the Pardoner announces, And now, good men, your sins may God forgive and keep you specially from avarice! (Chaucer 1684). Since the Pardoner naturally and skillfully goes right into this sales pitch, it is evident that he was simply reciting a memorized sermon. Also, the fact that the pardoner recites this pitch with such enthusiasm, shows that this manipulation was something he was very experienced in, and rather enjoyed doing. When the Host refused to buy the relics and then preceded to insult the Pardoner because of his hypocrisy, the Pardoner realized that he had gone right into his sales pitch without even thinking. Unlike most of The Canterbury Tales, this passage demands interpretation even at the surface level. However, the one obvious point Chaucer sought to make in this passage, was how important the pilgrims knowledge of the Pardoner s hypocrisy was. Because of their knowledge of his hypocrisy, the pilgrims were able to refrain from buying into the Pardoner s con which would surely have brought them Christ s curse (Chaucer 1685). This importance of knowledge, and especially the awareness of the corruption of certain church practices, was what he hoped to instill in all of his readers. Chaucer s genius as a writer has never been denied. By stealthily incorporating his controversial views of the church, while still being able to make his tales entertaining to all people, Chaucer succeeded in writing a literary masterpiece. At the decline of the middle ages, Chaucer was seeking to promote rational thought, especially among the middle class. He hoped to do this by showing the obvious hypocrisy of those who sold indulgences and by showing how important awareness of hypocrisy is. He did this with the literary devices of straight-forwardness and physiognomy, as well as the events that took place at the conclusion of The Pardoner s Tale. Breaking through the surface value of this entertaining piece into the more complex aspects of Chaucer s writings also gives credit to his greatness. However, it was the way in which Chaucer sought to raise questions concerning the church s practices, almost as propaganda, that Chaucer showed himself to be a writer ahead of his time.