The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Clark, Roy Peter. "Doubting Thomas in Chaucer's Summoner's Tale." 11 (1976): 164-78.
In the Summoner's Tale, Thomas and Friar John together imitate St. Thomas. The elderly, sick Thomas is a kind of "doubting Thomas." John is a perverted type of Thomas, the builder of churches. In the fart scene, the two Thomas-types merge in a parody of St. Thomas probing Christ's wounds. Chaucer underscores the parallel by using language similar to that used in accounts describing Thomas groping Christ's wounds. That Friar John receives a fart indicates the corrupt nature of his search for material, not spiritual, wealth.