The Canterbury Tales

An Essay on the Influence of an Author’s Era Expressed in Their Literary Works College

Consciously and unconsciously, we are shaped by the world we live in. The events, people, ideology, and lifestyle of our era affect our thoughts, behavior, and how we express ourselves, be it verbal such as speech or nonverbal such as writing. Literary works especially are exclusive snapshots of the era in which they were created. Whether they are set in the time frame that they were written in or deal with events of the past, the writing still contains, to some degree, the mindset of its author which is shaped by the ideology of the world they live in. Examples of these can be found in two famous literary works, The Prioress’s Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

In the first example, The Prioress’s Tale, we gain an insight into the world of medieval England in the 1400s. It was a time in which people’s lives, made harsh and uncertain by plagues, wars, and famines, revolved around religion and the establishment of the Church. A group of pilgrims, amongst whom is a prioress, take turns telling tales to each other. The prioress tells the tale of a young boy who is known far and wide for his continuous, beautiful singing praises of the Virgin Mary. His virtuousness and innocence is described by the...

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