How does Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" and Matt Groening's "The Simpsons" reflect the negative attitude of their respective society

Essay by misty_angelHigh School, 11th grade July 2004

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Through hundreds of years, the society has been changing and evolving. In Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" and Matt Groening's "The Simpsons", both contexts reflect the negative attitude of their respective society. Both texts criticize similar areas of humanity using methods such as satire, irony and humour. With these techniques, as well as the type of medium, it is an effective way of presenting the issues of society.

Chaucer depicts each character satirically or sincerely, according to the character's influence on society. The corruption of the church is being criticized by his descriptions of religious figures. For example, in one of his portraits, the monk is supposed to lead a simple life focused on god, but instead, he lives lavishly. The monk was expected to eat simple things, like bread and water, along with some fruit. "He was a lord ful fat and in good point" implies that he is well looked after.

He enjoys hunting animals: "An outridere that lovede venerye". This suggests that he does not care about his duties and rules and also his spiritual life is absent. The description of his clothes, "with grys, and that the fyneste of a lond", suggests that he has misused the church's funds. Also, being a "monk out of his cloystre", he does not even live in the church, and therefore does not follow the conventions of being a monk.

Another portrait of a religious figure is the prioress. She is extremely considerate towards animals, and favours them over the starving community: "of smale houndes hadde she that she fedde with rosted flessh, or milk and wastel-breed." Roasted meat and white bread were considered to be the finest foods and it is not appropriate to feed them to her pets. This is another sign of the misuse of funds in the...