"The Canterbury Tales".Comparing And Contrasting The Tradesman And The Cook To The Kinght. Examples And Quotes From The Story Included.

644 words - 3 pages

The tradesmen and the cook are not really comparable to the knight. They have different contrasting personalities, views and priorities.The tradesmen also known as the guildsmen appear as a unit or a group in the prologue. They are craftsmen or an organization of workers with comparable occupations joined together to enhance the bargaining power for their unions. “All in the livery of one impressive guild-fraternity” (371-372). The word livery suggests that the tradesmen are wearing matching clothing that represents what they stand for and believe in. Their identical apparel or livery also shows that they may be protestors that will fight for their establishment and they have the power to decide who may be a member of the union and who may not. Guilds, like some modern labor unions today, were highly restrictive in their membership and included only skilled craftsmen who practiced a particular trade. Their matching livery also represents competition and sacrifice. It represents competition because labor unions are competing for employers by negotiating. And it represents sacrifice because the employer is not authorized to seek out the services of another labor union or hire another competing labor union even when he is not satisfied with the performance of the current labor union. “Their wisdom would have justified a plan to make each one of them alderman” (381-382). This line is implying that the labor union members are very knowledgeable and their main priority was to establish and protect their members' livelihoods and to always get the best from their employers. The cook represents the strength and also the weakness of the tradesmen. The description of the cook shows the guild’s devotion to material wealth, and the narrator praises the guildsmen only in terms of their possession by describing their knives and the cooks lavishing meals and recipes. The cook’s ulcer, a disgusting physical defect represents the tradesmen weakness. Labor unions were not always...

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