Gower Bibliography

The Portrayal of Parents and Children in the Works of Chaucer, Gower, and the Pearl-poet

Bauer, Kate A.. "The Portrayal of Parents and Children in the Works of Chaucer, Gower, and the Pearl-poet." PhD thesis, New York University, 1995.

Review

["In the three and a half decades since the publication of Ariès's seminal work, Centuries of Childhood, our understanding of Western European medieval notions of right relations between parents and children has changed significantly. . . . In the context of the post-Ariès vision of medieval attitudes toward parents and children, this dissertation examines the works of three English poets of the late fourteenth century, Chaucer, Gower, and the Pearl-poet. . . . All three poets, while presenting relations between parents and children that reflect with some degree of realism contemporary assumptions about familial bonds, also idealize children, often associating them with the miraculous. In Pearl such idealization takes its grandest form, as the poet places the death of a child in the context of Christian Resurrection. In the Confessio Amantis Gower's strongest tales include scenes of anagnorisis, in which children restore parents to new life. In the works of Chaucer, the poet employs the idealized child in the widest variety of contexts; miracles range from a small act of generosity to an instance of Christian transcendance. As the dissertation demonstrates, each of the three poets presents, against a background of real relations between parents and children in this world, a vision of the child, in his or her rejection of such sublunary concerns, triumphant." [JGN 15.2]

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:Dissertation Abstracts International 56 (1996): 3949A.
Subjects:Confessio Amantis

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