Love that Doesn't Last Forever

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I sat at my desk staring out of the window looking on into the cool, bleak, lifeless winter weather wondering how something like a divorce could have happened. While I was walking home from school I asked myself questions like “I thought they loved each other?” and “why are they getting a divorce?” Nothing seemed to make sense. I dreaded walking into my house knowing both of my parents didn’t even want to see each other anymore. Somehow I felt it was my fault but I wasn’t sure why. We ate our last dinner together as a whole family even though the love I thought would last forever between my parents was dead. As we were eating I thought to myself “I guess nothing lasts forever.” The next day at school I learned that one of my good friends was going through the same hardship that I was experiencing and I realized that love is not always forever and in some cases other things can come between the love of two people. Having a friend going through the same thing I was made the whole divorce process a lot easier to cope with. I realized that many people in today’s world get divorces and that love sometimes just dies out between two people. It just shocked me that the love I saw for years between two of the most important people in my life had ended.
“The Canterbury” Tales shows examples of love ending between two people because something disrupted the balance of their relationship. The first example is in “The Miller’s Tale.” Alisoun stops loving John when Nicholas convinces Alisoun to sleep with him and then she loves Nicholas instead of John. Nicholas comes between John and Alisoun and disrupts their relationship just like many relationships in today’s world are disrupted by someone or something like work, money, drugs or things of that nature. Alisoun cheating on John is a example of selfishness and in today’s world many people act on their personal desires rather than thinking about their relationship and the feelings of the people they love. Lust came between Alisoun’s love for John and lust destroyed it. I believe what Chaucer is saying about love in his time is that lust is one of the few things that is powerful enough to break the sacred bonds of love between two people who have sworn to love each other forever. This is also true for relationships in the present day. Lust for money, material objects, or other people is what often destroys love and I believe the Miller’s tale expresses this even though it is supposed to be a funny tale about Nicholas tricking John so that he can have an affair with Alisoun.

“The Merchant’s Tale” also describes the bond between two people dying because of selfishness and lust. This tale describes the terrors of marriage and is about how a woman named May cheats on her husband January. This tale depicts a wife lying to her husband and cheating on him. Chaucer is showing that marriage in his day could sometimes be full of lies and unfaithfulness just like it can sometimes be today. This is a connection to love today compared to love back then. In the world today people are lied to and cheated on all of the time and it is a very common thing in our society that is wrong and Chaucer shows that it was also a common and wrong thing in his society through this story. He is depicting the horrors that love can sometimes bring later on with it and he is showing the unfaithfulness of love between two people. When January is given his sight back he witnesses his wife having sex with Damien in the pear tree and then is convinced by May that she was not having sex with him and that he still is blind. May’s personal needs ruined the relationship between January and herself and is another example of selfishness. Selfishness is evident in everyone’s lives today and it existed in many relationships and is usually a major reason why many relationships that I have seen in my life have ended.
I believe Chaucer is using the Miller’s Tale and the Merchant’s tale to express the foul parts of love and marriage back in his time. The way that love is rendered in these two stories also is the same way some love exists in today’s world. Chaucer shows selfishness in both stories and today selfishness ruins many relationships just like it did in these tales. Lust is also a connection between today’s world and both tales. What Chaucer is saying about love in the Canterbury Tales is true in the modern day.





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