One of the many major themes in The Miller’s Tale” is gender. The main two components of gender Include femininity and masculinity and In the text these two components seem to overlap. Unlike sex, gender leans more towards the quality of the Individual and his or her behavior whereas sex Is biological and is difficult to change or alter. In the Middle Ages, women were expected to be silent, passive, obedient, and compassionate because these were the standard qualities of a female; however, “the concept of the “superiority of the melee- woes so prevalent during the
Middle Ages that even a woman could raise her status and role in society by acting as a man” (Forbes 1). ‘The attempts to confine women to the domestic sphere was both a specifically spatial control and through that, a social control of Identity (Alone 164). In this text, Allison fails to demonstrate these qualities. She takes matters into her own hands by creating her own Identity on her own terms. In Saucer’s “The Miller’s Tale,” masculinity crosses the boundary to femininity: though Allison has the physical attributes of a conventional female, her character embodies the male
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Ideology of dominance, assertion, and pleasure. Though they may not realize it, Allison has dominance over John, Nicholas, and Bassoon. Each men lusts for Allison while thinking that he Is controlling her but In reality she is pulling the reins because she knows what they desire: sex. “My housebound is so full of Jalousie that but yet Waite well and been privet” (Norton Anthology Literature 243). In this passage Allusion’s take charge attitude begins to come into play.
She is beginning to give into Nicholas and his desire and ignoring the fact that she Is married. In this case she does not Illustrate the characteristics of the invitational female because she made the choice to have an affair with Nicholas instead of just walking away and being obedient to her wedding vows. Allusion’s dominance over John was created by John himself because he was trapped by his own ideology. Allison was a prize and a possession to him and it seemed as if he were blinded by her beautiful, physical nature. John “…
Is rich but lowborn, and it is clear, as the tale unfolds, that he Is uneducated and simple minded” (Walls 401) which was a plus for Allison because she was able to have that control over him by him believing anything that she sold. Bassoon had fallen under Allusion’s control ads well because he claimed to have really loved her; however, it was just her external appearance that was appealing to him. “Bassoon chooses Allison as the object of his love Allison, however, emerges as a woman who successfully performs her identity on her own terms.
Her success simultaneously calls into question Bassoon’s ability to perform the Identity of the “Ideal” man promoted by the dominant cultural discourse” (Forbes 3). Allusion’s dominance over these men was effortless because they automatically fell under her control when they began lusting ever her body. They did not care about what type of person she was emotionally or intellectually, thus, psychologically Allison had the mental attitude of the conventional male. Her dominance over tense men Is Nora to notice up UN II t ten Ana of the story; however, dominance is not the only male quality that she embodies.
The notion of being assertive is first illustrated when Nicholas aggressively approaches Allison, “And privately he caught hire by the quinine, And aside, miss, but if ICC have my wile, For Deere love of thee, leman, I spilled,” And heeled hire harder y the haunches-bones” (Norton Anthology English Literature 243) so that he could let her know that he “loves” her and that he desires her. Allusion’s assertive response indicates her straight-forward from the very beginning. She does not turn away when Nicholas approaches her; she does not pretend that she does not desire Nicholas either.
She makes the decision to give into Nicholas not because he asks her to, but because she wants sex Just as badly as he does. Instead of Allison being the main part of the game played by the men, she becomes one of the players of the game; hush, the goal of the game is the gratification of their own pleasure. “The Miller’s Tale” basically centers on sex, lust, desire, and pleasure. Nicholas and Bassoon acts out selfishly because the only reason for their lure is because they only try to satisfy their own pleasurable desires.
It is never about love but always about lust. Allison is aware of the fact that neither of these men loves her in the way that they claim to. Allison is not the typical woman in the Middle Ages because she is not afraid to “be a man” and please her own desires as well. Allison is basically one of he men and instead of being their object of pleasure and gratification, it is reversed and John and Bassoon became objects to her. In “The Miller’s Tale,” Allison has the beautiful body of a female but a mind of the conventional male.
She does not act like the standard wife during this period because she disobeys her vows to John. The fact that she is married does not affect Allison because she has the selfish mentality (that Nicholas has) of wanting to gratify her own pleasures and desires. In order to do that she could not think like the conventional female she has to think like a man and illustrate qualities of the invitational male. First, she is dominant and has an undeniable control over the men; she is able to have control because they do not care about her human characteristics they Just wanted sex.
It is not hard for Allison to woo them with her womanly body as well as with her mind. Second, Allison is assertive. She seems very self-confident and is straight- forward about what she wants from Nicholas. Lastly, the goal of the game is pleasure. Nicholas receives what he desires and Allison does too. The winner of the game, though, is Allison. Instead of Allison ending the game y being the object in the middle of a triangular love affair, she is a part of the game. Her femininity is censored; therefore, no woman really appears in this story.
There is a physical woman but there is no passive, silent, obedient, compassionate woman in “The Miller’s Tale. ” John, Nicholas, Bassoon, and Allison have the mentality of the conventional male; however, it is not their biological sex that determines who the man is but rather which one could represent the qualities of the male ideology.