Tutors, Ugly Girls, and Spanish Class: the Basis’s for Lack of Love

June 6, 2009
By Anonymous

Let me share three relationship stories that are typical to my high school. The first is of a girl who sits in her Spanish class everyday and never learns Spanish. Instead of learning verb conjugations and vocabulary, she learns all of the different ways to write the name of the boy sitting across the room and visualizes what their wedding will look like. She has never talked to the boy in her life. She has been obsessed with him since the seventh grade.
The next situation is a girl who has had a boyfriend for months, and she hates him. Instead of breaking up with him, she meets with her “math tutor” every Friday night to get away from him. She also has a chemistry tutor and an English tutor, all of which her boyfriend thinks are helping her raise her grades. The truth is: they are just helping her drop her pants.
The last story is of the boy who is dating the prettiest girl in school. It is a shame that the boy hates his girlfriend. The only reason that he is faithful to her because she is gorgeous and she helps him maintain his social status. All of his friends admire him and he is the talk of the class. He is actually in love with an unattractive girl who is completely out of his social group.

In The Canterbury Tales, there are five characters that have less than stellar relationships. Palamon and Arcite both fall in love with Emily, a girl they see from their jailed tower. They admire her for months on end, and start to immortalize her as the days go by. They create her whole personality before they ever speak to her. Alison and May both cheat on their husbands excessively. They have no love for their husband and use tricks to sleep with other men. A young knight meets an ugly old lady who he does not want to marry her because she is ugly. He has many reservations about falling in love with her.

The Canterbury Tales and high school have very similar love relationships. The multiple scenarios discussed above hold true to many teenagers in the community, and the stories discussed are directly from The Canterbury Tales themselves. The different situations all show that the teenagers in high school and the characters in the tales cannot find genuine love, at least for the current time being. From the girl who does not speak to her “true love”, or her idea of her true love based on his appearances, to the man who is struggling to accept ugliness, there is a lack of genuine love in High School and The Canterbury Tales.

The first example of lack of genuine love in high school and The Canterbury Tales is the love from afar. The girl in her Spanish class believes she is in love with the boy across the room and Palamon and Arcite are in love with Emily from their tower prison. While it may seem that people can fall in love with someone by just watching them for days, it is impossible. In the Knight’s Tale one of the knights; Palamon, made the statement “The beauty of the lady whom I see wondering yonder in the garden is the cause of all my cries and my woe, I do not know whether she is a woman or a goddess, but my guess is that she is the truth in Venus” (240). The way that Palamon is speaking sounds like an infatuation rather than genuine love, despite the fact that Palamon thinks that he is truly in love. Palamon’s story mirrors directly to the high school student who has an infatuation with her classmate. She plans their entire future around the fact that she has developed in her mind a completely different personality for him from that of the one he actually has. She has turned him into a god in her mind, just like Palamon has turned Emily into a goddess in his. The direct relationship between the two shows the similarities between The Canterbury Tales and high school and the lack of genuine love in the two.

The next situation is that of cheating couples. The girl in high school has three “tutors” that she uses to cheat on her boyfriend and in The Canterbury Tales; there are two women who attempt to cheat on their older husbands. Alison in the Miller’s Tale plots a way to get away from her husband to sleep with someone else. Alison specifically says in the Miller’s Tale; “’My husband is so filled with jealousy that, unless you are on guard and keep it a secret, I know for sure that I’m as good as dead’” (108). The discreetness that Alison wants to maintain is very similar to the girl who is hiding from her boyfriend. Also similar to Alison and the girl in high school, May in the Merchant’s Tale cheated on her husband because of lack of genuine love for him. May’s case was a very extreme one because she cheated on her husband while he was there and blind, and when he noticed what she was doing, she was able to convince him that he was mistaken with what he saw. May, Alison, and the Girl in high school are all examples of lack of genuine love through cheating on their partners.

The last example of lack of genuine love is that of love of appearances rather than personality and emotional compatibility. The boy in high school is dating a girl because she is very attractive and she helps him maintain his popularity in the school. Along with the fact that he does not like his girlfriend, he really likes another girl but she is not pretty enough for him. In the beginning of the Wife of Bath’s tale, the Knight does not want to marry the old lady because she is not attractive enough, which is very similar to the high school story. In the tale the Knight states that he is troubled because his wife is so ugly “’Alas, no, no! It will never be corrected! You are so loathsome and so old, and what is more, of such low birth, that it is little wonder if I toss and turn. I wish to god my heart would break!’” (242).This quote shows the apprehension that the Knight has for marrying such an unattractive woman. Although the Knight finally falls in love with the old woman, in the beginning there is an open lack of genuine love that he has for her because of her appearances. These examples are the final reasons why there is a lack of genuine love in both The Canterbury Tales and high school.

In The Canterbury Tales, there is a lack of genuine love, and you can see something similar to that in high school. Although the stories and situations are hundreds of years apart, they show that love has not changed very much throughout the development of society. The three kids from high school do not fully understand what love is, because love is generalized in high school into the definition that love is just having an infatuation with someone, and the five characters from The Canterbury Tales are not much better in their identification of love.

The author's comments:
I initially wrote this for an Enlgish assignment, but I decided to publish it because it is not only an analytical piece, it also has many ascpects of average high school life. The three high schoolers are not real people, just based off of stereotypical high schoolers.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Jun. 19 2009 at 3:20 pm
pinksage33 BRONZE, Woodstock, New York
4 articles 1 photo 211 comments
Very good!!!

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