Hi everyone, last year I wrote a paper about the character Nicholas in the Miller’s tale and how he is a social outsider mainly because he is merely a student that is between social classes and is never fully accepted or appreciated by anyone. In my paper I talk about the word “pryvetee” which roughly translates as secrets in the text, but can refer to the secrets kept between men and women within the public and private spheres of life as it pertains to their gender identity, sexuality and even religious beliefs. As a student, Nicholas is not as important in the eyes of the public as John the Carpenter, who owns his own home and has a paying job. However, Nicholas is able to breach John’s private life by catching the attention of Allisoun, and spends the tale taking advantage of her sexually and taking advantage of John mentally. While I understand that on the surface this tale was meant to be funny, filled with fart jokes and public humiliation, beyond the surface there are some really serious issues about how men and women live and work together within the home and from the outside. I took a more serious approach to the tale, noting that it seems Allisoun is just an object of desire for Nicholas, Absolon and even John, who feels that he controls or owns her. Since Nicholas is able to have free roam of John’s home while he is away at work, he is able to stop being a social outsider and force himself into John’s private life. I feel that Nicholas acts in a very malicious way, whether by taking advantage of Allisoun, humiliating Absolon or by using his intelligence and cleverness to trick John. As I’ve said, I wrote a whole paper about this tale, so I’ve given a lot of thought into the characters and their progression through the tale, so I’d love to hear outside opinions about the idea of “pryvetee” and if I’m possibly being too hard on Nicholas.