Patriarchal Values In The Reeve's Tale

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There’s a power balance between the three men and the two women in The Reeve 's Tale that is influenced by patriarchal values. The author limits actions performed by female characters to carry stereotypical assumptions of gender expectations. If you examine closely, the miller 's wife is unnamed purposefully because she is considered untrustworthy and invaluable. Also, any credibility that is given to a female, has to have a man present to accept those responsibilities. This formulates that women cannot exist without having some type of man to establish their credibility. It constructs an uneven balance- that forms the concept of instrumentality- that the author creates when he silences the two women in the tale. They become lessened in…show more content…
Besides, the three men value instrumentality when the women are silenced when they are put into a situation where they have no control over their bodies, stimulating the belief that men of all reputations can have access to any woman. Yet, the two scholars were able to have access to the women, whereas the women cannot show interest sexually because they are possessions. When the scholars have sexual relations with the women, their reactions are not shown or described, nor the act of the sexual invasion itself. In fact, the daughter was mentioned to be “doghter bolt upright” as she took it “willingly” (4266). Due to instrumentality, what was violated was Symkyn’s property- the two men committed a crime against Symkyn 's possession of the two women, not rape itself. The two scholars were aware of laws, stating they had the right to his wife and daughter because “ther is a lawe” (4180). Ethics is not valued in this situation but the law of ownership and possession of objects. The law that John mentions is supposed to validate the women’s rape in motivation caused by Symkyn 's theft. The Reeve’s Tale shows the value of two women is as equivalent to a sleazy trick caused by Symkyn, to be revenged by raping. For repayment, therefore, the two women’s value is diminutive, and the two women have no power to oppose against John

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