Inquiry II - Brockmiller 1 Lauren Brockmiller ENG 112...

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Brockmiller 1 Lauren Brockmiller ENG 112 Evelyn Brown Rough Draft Exposing Our Social Class While one is reading a piece of work from a certain time period, it is good for one to know the lifestyle and history of the author. Exploring the way different characters in different standings in the social class use their words is something that can be very useful in determining what experiences the author has had. Walter S. Phelan says that “Language is a cosmos; it encircles, contains and orders a totality of experience for a nation or group or for an individual.” (Phelan, 1978). Geoffrey Chaucer’s writing and descriptive tactics back this up perfectly. He crates such a contrast between two characters that, right away, let us tap in to the experiences Chaucer has had throughout his life. The second story told, the Miller’s Tale, is very different from the previous story, told by none other than the Knight. The Knight’s Tale is a noble one, and is one that is to be expected of someone of his social standing and education. He tells his story, using descriptions that keep everything to the minimum. He knows how to phrase his thoughts using the least amount of words possible, again proving that he is educated. The Miller oversteps his boundaries and, drunkenly interrupts the narrator, saying that he has a story that will be better than the Knight’s or at least one that will compare to it. He reveals his lower social class to the reader by the words he uses to describe things and people. The Knight on the other hand uses carefully crafted
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Brockmiller 2 wording to describe his love interest. Only someone with a high standing and education could know to use such words as descriptive. It is important to understand the influence of such a contrast in characters. The words we use more often than not, reveal what social class we are from. For example, when people use the word “ain’t,” you can usually gather that that person is not very well educated, or does not care enough about their image to change the way they are speaking to someone. We can determine the same thing through the way the Miller talks, and describes his surroundings and people he sees. As the Miller describes Alisoun, the love interest in his story,
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Inquiry II - Brockmiller 1 Lauren Brockmiller ENG 112...

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