Chaucer has created a world not far different from that which parallels reality. His characters are all chosen with a precision that is almost mystical. One major question at hand is that of without the character known to the reader as the Miller would this story have less value. A simple answer would be “yes” that the miller could be omitted and the story would be unchanged, however as any character exemplifies, there is a satirical reason for his placement into the tale. Whether the reason is to show the fascination that people have with corrupt mannerisms or possibly to show that pride of a nationalistic figure.
The Miller is a symbol, a symbol of oppression. From the text the following can be concluded:
1)The Miller is a Scotsman
2) He fights for his life
3) He does whatever is necessary to succeed
4) Is a leader
The first of these conclusions is drawn
The clothing he is wearing is a representation of Scotland; this is drawn to by the correspondence to the Scottish flag, sporting both the blue and white found in his cloak. It is possible he is a revolutionary who has led people out of an oppressive situation. The Miller is not an honest man; this can be seen in his business practices. In conjunction with the coloring of his clothes his hair color also indicates a Scotsman, the "His berd a any sowe or fox was reed" (LN. based upon the Miller"tms style of dress and physical characteristics. "Wel koude he stelen corn and tollen thries; and yet he hadde a thombe of gold, pardee. The Miller is an icon in anyway he is interpreted and the story could not be told with the same effect without him in it. 566) so perhaps the Miller represents freedom, or all the possibilities listed herein. Chaucer has made an outcast into a profitable businessman. This is an incredibly malicious form of business, however in terms of profit it is a genius idea. There were several reasons separate from religious journey for the Miller to leave Scotland, in 1363 there was a rebellion against king David II, the Miller may have been a political refugee, or later in the century Scotland was attacked by John of Gaunt, so he may have fled to escape war. This could explain his reason for fighting for food, " At wrastlynge he wolde have alwey the ram" (LN. 565) The significance of his Scottish heritage to the story is to show that he is an outsider, that he is out of his element and challenged in many forms.