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Unformatted text preview: In Chapter 21, The Boss meets a group of pilgrims, and he is surprised to see that the procession includes people from all occupations, professions, and social ranks. Twain is obviously echoing here the pilgrims of Chaucer's famous Canterbury Tales. In this tale, the only way that people of different social classes and different occupations could be found in each other's company was by their making a religious pilgrimage. Also, Chaucer's group of pilgrims were very much like these pilgrims; that is, they are a "pleasant, friendly, sociable herd; pious, happy, merry, and full of unconscious coarseness and innocent indecencies." The prude in the Yankee emerges, and he is offended by the vulgarity which he hears. The description of the pilgrims, then, continues Twain's double vision of the people of this country — innocent, yet indecent by nineteenth-century standards.people of this country — innocent, yet indecent by nineteenth-century standards....
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- Fall '11
- The Canterbury Tales, Yankee common sense., equally useless things, social ranks. Twain