Pardoners Tale and A Simple Plan Comparison

Essay by ej_550High School, 11th gradeA, November 2014

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"Clever texts act as mediators of ideologies; they are representations of society and social order"


Representations of society and social order are evident through texts that act as mediators of ideologies. Geoffrey Chaucer in 'The Pardoners Tale' cleverly presents a satirical text which highlights the moral corruption of society during the 14th century, reflecting a religion based social order where sin is punishable by God. In contrast, Sam Raimi in 'A Simple Plan' analyses modern day society and places obvious criticism on human efforts in their "American Dream" pursuit and the effect this may have on individuals and society. Moral corruption is an evident theme in both texts, which highlights the fact that anyone can be affected by corruption, including those at the top of the social chain. Both tales in different contexts demonstrate that humans will universally be vulnerable to avarice and the results of it.

The saying "Radix malorum est cupiditas" is explored in both texts to reflect 14th century and modern day values through portraiture, which assists our understanding of universal themes.

Morality / Corruption

1 - Everyone is subject to corruption

The Pardoners Tale acts as a moral anecdote, and demonstrates how the degradation of morality through the use of protagonists can lead to corruption of society, and that everyone, even someone of high status is susceptible to corruption. Raimi also explores the idea that human efforts can shadow a corrupt society, and that everyone, no matter their status in social order has the ability to be affected by corruption and moral degradation, as demonstrated through the protagonist, Hank. All humans are flawed, as portrayed through the Pardoner himself. He is affected by personal corruption as evident in his prologue through greed and temptation. As a religious innovator, he is...