Unhealthy Society in Disgrace & Canterbury Tales

History is believed to repeat itself. The furthering of the human mind and lessons learned in one’s lifetime has a purpose to avoid the action of repeating negativity from the past. Knowledge is the essence of life. Unfortunately, humans are naturally born savage. Some learn to overcome certain negativity that would result in their acts and behaviors being misled, others pray on the “weak” to their advantage. Martin Luther, a famous German theology professor once said: “Each betrayal begins with trust.

” The fundamentals of this quote prove that the way society is constructed promotes an unhealthy environment. Shown in numerous works of literature such as Nobel Prize-winning Novel Disgrace written by J. M. Coetzee and other literary pieces written by Chaucer the Canterbury tales display betrayal through trust. Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee is a textbook example of using trust to execute betrayal.

Situations that occur such as when David and Lucy are walking the dogs when two men and a boy appear and ask to use the telephone.

Lucy trusted the man needed assistance and opted to bring him inside. Huge mistake. “A blow catches him on the crown of the head. He has time to think, If I am still conscious then I am all right, before his limbs turn to water and he crumples. He is aware of being dragged across the kitchen floor. Then he blacks out” (Coetzee 71-72).

Betrayal can physically and mentally effect individuals. Like Lucy, she is simply torn apart from the acts that occurred.

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David being set ablaze, the dogs being brutally shot, and Lucy’s implied rape it is clear to see that the three by far outdid themselves with the amount of betrayal and brutality instilled in Lucy and David. It is a bit difficult to realize who is the bad guy in this story.

David the professor at Cape Town Technical University is somewhat secretly attempting to gain his students trust Melanie. he travels to campus and uses the University’s records to find her address and phone number. Startled at his call, Melanie agrees to have lunch with him. Without wasting any time David brings Melanie back to his house and has sex with her on his living room floor. Actions continue including Melanie missing her Mid-term, her boyfriend confronting Professor Lurie (David) as well as a final sexual harassment case. It seems clear that David attempted to gain trust and it backfired. There are many lessons to be learned in this novel. One does not gain trust overnight, it is a long curvy road that takes time and effort. Though David attempted to gain trust to ultimately Betray he rushes the process resulting in costly actions. Seen in as recent as Disgrace, written in 1999 Trust leading to Betrayal occurs in all different time periods of civilization.

Famous author of the Middle Age dating back to the mid-1300’s, Geoffrey Chaucer is known for his Canterbury Tales. His collection of 24 tales presented as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from London to Canterbury.

Specifically, the Pardoner’s Tale and Knight’s tale display betrayal through trust. The pardoner’s tale is extraordinary in the use of trust resulting in betrayal. The story itself told by an imposter plotting to take money from the town’s people as a pardoner. This Imposter attempting to gain their trust in a story which is seeking the willingness of the town’s people to gain his trust tells a story about three young men setting out to kill Death. They later encounter an old man who says that they will find him under a nearby tree. When they arrive they discover a hoard of treasure and decide to stay with it overnight to carry it away the following morning. The three men ultimately betrayal each other resulting in Death hence the moral of the story. “Good men and wommen, o thyng warne I yow, If any wight be in this chirche now That hat doon synne horrible.

that he Dar nat for shame of it yshryven be, Or any womman, be she yong or old, that hath ymaad hir housbonde cokewold, Swich folk shal have no power ne no grace To offren to my relikes in this place” (Chaucer The Pardoner’s Tale 91 – 98). This seems to be apparent in more works of literature than known. Everywhere one turns it seems that the more one trusts another, the more likely one gives up their trust, it seems the more likely one is to be betrayed. Much like the Pardoner’s Tale Albert Camus expresses his thoughts which relate to the Pardoner. “I used to advertise my loyalty and I don’t believe there is a single person I loved that I didn’t eventually betray” (Camus). In today’s society, betrayal seems as prevalent as ever. Along with pop culture, politics also seem to be playing a factor.

Unfortunately, betrayal begins with trust. It seems as if it effects society as a whole as well. With current events playing into the factor, Donald Trump seems to be executing the same type of tactics. It is too soon to tell what Mr. Trump can/will do with the power he would receive should he win the elections. On the contrary, many Americans have the realization of what could be in store for America if Mr. Trump does win. “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown” H. P. Lovecraft. Pop culture often sends messages through different cultural influences such as music, film, art, Etc. The recent movie series sensation The Hunger Games, pulling in a whopping 2.9 billion dollars spread its intensity entertainment, as well as underlining messages globally. Suzanne Collins the author of The Hunger Games which later turned into one extraordinary film success preaches the underlined messages of Betrayal. “For there to be betrayal, there would have to have been trust first” (The Hunger Games). This quote issued by the main character Katniss Everdeen explains the importance of this quote in which Phish and other important figures preached.

The importance of trust for society is essential to the furthering of mankind. Regrettably, the rise in trust is comparative with the rise in betrayal. Seen in all ages of society, betrayal does not neglect any person. The realization of the negative effects in trusting one another is horrific.

Day in and day out examples are displayed either subtlety or blatantly. The key to success is to overcome these tragedies. Sherrilyn Kenyon the author of Invincible: The Chronicles of Nick describes it perfectly. Everyone suffers at least one bad betrayal in their lifetime. It’s what unites us. The trick is not to let it destroy your trust in others when that happens. Don’t let them take that from you” (Kenyon). Humans tend to lead a feral lifestyle. Some good, most bad. The key is to learn to overcome certain negativity that would result in their acts and behaviors being misled. While each betrayal begins with trust, life lessons will be understood once trust is reached with no reprimands in return.

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Unhealthy Society in Disgrace & Canterbury Tales. (2022, May 11). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/an-analysis-of-the-way-society-is-constructed-which-promotes-an-unhealthy-environment-in-disgrace-and-canterbury-tales/

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