How is this work anti idealistic? What makes it so?
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Yes, it is.......
The tale "quites" the Clerk's idealism with cynicism. The Clerk had an ideal view of the past and an ironic view of present realities; the Merchant has contempt for ideals and a bitter view of realities. For the Clerk, the world may be in decline, but for the Merchant all is leveled to a nihilistic worldview. He's even ready to sacrifice the fiction of his own dignity.