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Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Cook's tale is one of Chaucer's more difficult narratives in "The Canterbury Tales" because it was not completed and thus left often to speculation about its "true" intent. However, a number of scholars have argued that the tale has much in common with the biblical fall of Adam in the Book of Genesis.

This tale begins in a scene of plenty, progresses toward a disobedience, and evolves into a "hunger for sensation." The Cook's master, arguably a parallel for God, banishes Perkyn and uses the image of an apple to further reinforce the Genesis parallel:

'Wel bet is roten appul out of hoord / Than that it rotie al the remenaunt"' (1.4406-07).

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The Canterbury Tales

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