What exactly is The Cook's Tale about?

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Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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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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