Cultural Studies and Pop Arts Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  1998 Words
Date:  2022-06-22

The details of human life cannot be understood from the basic position of a human being. It is rather a complicated occurrence where everyman has their interest while at the same time there are some shared interests such as religion. The literary analog The Pardoner's Tale shows how human life is led by both shared interests, religion being the leading interest. The literary work shows that humans are complicated individuals who are led by the desire to please some supernatural power. However, the same people are not able to overcome their interests and most of the times; their interests supersede their shared interests. On the other hand, Everyman also shows that human life is complicated by both shared interests and personal interests. However, the literary work depicts that religion is the ultimate shaper of human life and personal interests never prevail over religious interests. Even though religion has a huge impact on human life, persona interests always prevail in decision-making and general human behavior.

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Twisslemann (2018) makes a comparison of the impacts of self-interests and religious interests in the life of a human being. In his argument, he says, "You should declare that competing interest even if that view conflicts with your religion." Expounding on the statement, the author presents a condition whereby a man is seen to have two conflicting sides. The personality of a human being is entailed of different things where religious and personal interests take the lead. Men are spiritual beings, and hence in one way or another, they are bound to restrain themselves to a certain religion of their choice (Twisselmann 8). Therefore, inside them, once they adopt the religion of their choice is the desire to fulfill the requirements of their religion while at the same time pleasing themselves as they would so desire. The issue of a conflict between personal and religious interests is thus apparent in the human life since time immemorial. There is however little proof between which side prevails at the end of the struggle.

The pardoner's tale presents the idea of religion as a powerful tool that controls most of human life yet not as strong as personal interests do. The literary work is centered on identifying who has the power to corrupt. Indeed, the book presents religion as entirely oriented towards the good things that all people admire. However, the author is made to believe that there is a particular power that sometimes overpowers religion. It is the power that corrupts humans and makes them walk in the direction of doing what is right. The author for instance writes, "...I preach as you have heard me say before, and tell a hundred lying mockeries more" (Chaucer 10). In this case, the pardoner is a religious leader who is expected to live within the dictates of the bible. During the medieval times, the pardoner was responsible for executing the pope's authority and forgiving people who repented. However, he acknowledges that he lies more than he preaches meaning some self-interests are beyond his capacity to handle even when he is a religious leader (Argyle and Benjamin 13). Chaucer, therefore, presents religion as a shared interest among a group of people which cannot have the influence that personal interests have on the human behavior.

Chaucer makes religion appear like it is a shared interest where they have individual interests even while serving in religious positions. The pardoner, for instance, is not just concerned about the high duty that has been bestowed on him. Besides preaching, the pardoner is concerned about the wealth he makes in the process. He says, "What! Do you think, as long as I can preach, and get their silver for the things I teach, that I will live in poverty, from choice? That's not the counsel of my inner voice! (Chaucer 38)" From the sentiments, it is outright that even while he has been trained to preach and pardon sinners, there is an inner voice that speaks to him. Against the training of the Roman Catholic Church for preachers not to take from the poor, the pardoner is concerned of improving his livelihood and goes against his religion to protect his interests of getting wealthy. Therefore, the author makes a successful persuasion that personal interests always prevail against religious interests.

The Pardoner's tale highlights the case of three rioters and an elderly man whom they wish to steal from. As per the principles of their religion, it is simple morals for the youth in the society to treat the elderly with respect. They are expected to help them whenever they deserve to and also to ensure that they lead healthy lives. However, in the same religious society is a deserted man who lives all by himself. Above his miseries, the rioters believe that he is a man of evil and is about to whisk them by exposing them to the devil (Chaucer 276). Their interests, therefore, guide them to question the old man and question him of his treasures which they contemplate stealing once the old man sleeps or when the night comes. Therefore, as opposed to doing what is amiable per their religious backgrounds, the three rioters steal from the hopeless since there are led by their interests to become rich and own myriad treasures of which they do not wish to work for as per their religious principles.

Among the principles of religion is the maintenance of unconditional friendship regardless of the conditions. The pardoner's tale, however, shows a different occurrence. The three riots which have been friends for a long turn into enemies after planning and realizing that they could steal the treasures of the old man. Once they send their youngest member, he goes to a chemist and buys poison so that he is left to benefit from the treasures alone. The youngest member in the team of rioters is thus depicted as one that is led by personal interests to become wealthy alone and forgets the dictates of his religion that prohibit him from killing or even breaking the bond of friendship between him and his brothers. It is therefore seen that self-interests, as opposed to religious interests, have such an instrumental meaning in the life of humans as opposed to the manner in which religious interests' impact on human life.

In the contemporary society as presented in the pardoner's tales is one which does not appreciate religious as satisfactory of making life smooth for everyone. It is rather presented as a way of maintaining checks and balances to self-interests which are the determinants of the manner in which life in the planet is led. Chaucer does not seek to show that religion is not an interest that people seek to pursue their lives to be contented. Research shows that at least 60% of people in the world owe some allegiance to a religion or obey some religious practices. Therefore, it would be wrong to state that religious interests are not some of the most articulate interests that a human being seeks to pursue (Arnett, Jeffrey and Lene 462). However, by being a human, there are some interests that one seeks to pursue over religious interests more as Chaucer writes, "Your hearts but kneel in humbleness for pardon; Or else, receive my pardon as we go. You can renew it every town or so Always provided that you still renew (Chaucer 324)." The author concludes that fulfilling religious desires before realizing personal interests are thus only desires that could not happen in real life.

Besides Chaucer's work, various religious researches show that even though people end to acknowledge religious laws and directions, most people feel that religion is too demanding. Even though this group follows religious directions, most act under duress since they already feel that they are suppressed by the requirements of religion. Regardless of the existence of social structures that appreciate religion there are people in the society who do not appreciate religion at all. The two groups of people are thus led by their instincts and act as they wish with not a shred of religious inclinations affecting them. It would thus be inconsistent to accrue such people to some conventional thinking that all people are guided by religious views. Such individuals are some among the wider group that is stull religious but does not fulfill the instructions offered by their religions. Chaucer's view is therefore valid in this outlook seeing that there is a group of people who do not have a single appreciation of religion and still there are those who are religious, yet they do not follow the interests of their religions. It is, therefore, true that most people across the world are guided by their interests in their daily undertakings as opposed to religious inclinations of their societies.

As opposed to Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale, Everyman presents a different view of religious interests compared to personal interests. In his work, Harry Porter recognizes that every man lives for their pleasure ("Every day" 1). He believes that it is human for an individual to seek to secure their interests before realizing the common good which is religion. He, however, takes a different extreme and assumes that at no single instance will personal interests prevail against the interests of the supernatural power which a presented by religion is the ruler of the world. He believes that all that lives dies as a result of the supernatural power. Therefore everything lives as perfect as has been planned by the supernatural power ("Every day" 5). Religious theatrics is, therefore, the center of human participation. The persona in the poem believes that it religious powers are powers to reckon. They are the forces that shape everyman and hence it would be a fallacy to believe that life would operate in any other way as opposed to that which is secured by religious structures. The author thus rules out any possibility of personal interests surpassing religious interests even in the societal setting.

Everyman rules out the chance of life happening as planned by men or in the interests of men and induces that life basically serves the plan as the supernatural power had already set. Echoing the voice of the supernatural power, Porter writes, "In My glory should make his mansion, and to it I had them all elect." The poem thus seeks to show that nothing happens in the world as planned by men or under the intents of men. Rather, he presents the activities that men involve themselves in as the undertaking of supreme duties assigned without knowledge by the supernatural power. Therefore, according to the poem, every man has a duty though they may not know it. Everybody take the role of fulfilling duties assigned to them by the supernatural power. Therefore as he paints in the literary work, there is very little man can do under his intentions. In one way or another, man is executing divine duties that have been assigned to them by the supernatural power without their knowledge and hence it is not as easy to undertake activities under their wish or to fulfill their desires.


Everyman presents an ideal setting where man looks as if he is in a conversation with both God and death to understand what is required of him while he's on the planet. A vivid communication between death and man shows that there is continuous communication between God and man where God shows man the right path to follow even when they want to divert and act as they wished ("Everyday" 67). For instance, at one point 'death' talks to 'everyman' and tells him, "Full little he thinketh on my coming: His mind is on fleshly lusts and his treasure, and great pain it shall cause him to endure." A kind of communication is seen between death and man where it reminds man of an upcoming time of judgment where man could land in eternal damnation if he seeks not to act according to the will of God ("Everyday" 135). Porter, therefore, presents that there is some kind of comm...

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