Moral In The Nun's Priest's Tale And Flush

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With varying narrators in both the Nun’s Priest’s Tale and Flush, the moral extracted from the text comes to be more interpretive previously was the case in Henryson’s work. Henryson presented short simple stories that explicitly told you what the purpose of the story was, giving you the meaning that he wanted you to take. As J. Allan Mitchell stated “medieval exemplary narratives serve as guide to personal deliberation and action” (3). Identically to Henryson, Chaucer at the end of the Nun’s Priest’s Tale gives a moral conclusion, where through the Nun’s Priest he states the supposed moral of the tale; “Allas! Ye lords, many a fals flatour Is in your…show more content…
Obviously, morality can be drawn from both Flush and the Nun’s Priest’s Tale however, little significance is placed on the ethical preaching’s of the texts. The “purpose” (Mitchell, 17) is not restricted to moral lessons, in fact purpose is not required at all. When Virginia Woolf first began Flush it was intended to be merely for the amusement of one of the Bloomsbury group (Smith, 356). While the text clearly grew meaning during its creation, its inception was purposeless, especially in with regards to morality. Morality was always going to be secondary in Flush as the book is all about innovation. Like most modernist, Woolf was always trying to be innovative and different in her work. While, the dog memoir pre-exists Flush, Woolf radically wrote the novella from the perspective of the dog, emphasising his point of view over all else (Smith, 352). Most brilliantly, Woolf gave Flush an almost human understanding all the while remaining specifically distinct from his owners. Take for example Flush’s understanding of his class as a dog. Class is a human, racial, and economic creation which Flush understands in his own way; “Flush knew before the summer had passed that there is no equality among dogs: some dogs are high dogs; some are low” (Woolf, 19). This specific human understanding coupled with his human relief when he realises he is an aristocrat, “heaven be praised, he was a dog of birth and breeding!” (Woolf, 19), make for delightful social commentary. The combined effect of this is morality in the story is not significant. Chaucer highlights other aspect of literature to the same effect in the Nun’s Priest’s Tale. As Gania Barlow has argued Chaucer takes on the role of compiler in The Canterbury Tales rejecting moral responsibility for the work (420). Several factor contribute to this, such as his use of mock epic style
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