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:
3) He does whatever is necessary to succeed
The first of these conclusions is drawn based upon the Miller’s style of dress and physical characteristics. 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. 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. 552) and also his instrument, “A baggepipe wel koude he blowe and sowne” (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.
During the 1300’s, the era of Chaucer, Scotland was an unstable country; there were many changes in governing power through the hierarchy. 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