Glue Man

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Glue Man

Post  Saint George on Thu 17 Aug 2017, 10:44 am

The central character of A Canterbury Tale is Thomas Colpeper who is the Glue Man. Right from the start of the movie, Colpeper makes it clear that the village of Chillingbourne is his territory where he orders that all visitors must report to the Town Hall. Even though it was a time of war, his behaviour went way beyond emergency powers. Colpeper is a self proclaimed MORAL DEFENDER OF CHILLINGBOURNE treating the people of the village as if they were his subjects. He is obsessed with local history even defending "Pouring knowledge into peoples' heads, by force, if necessary!" However, Colpeper's invitations to his lectures are not extended to the women of the village. As the Glue Man, he is the terror of the night, attacking any woman who dares to date the soldiers who would otherwise attend his lectures. To Colpeper, pouring glue on a woman's hair is a form of humiliation, a way of marking her body, and a warning to other women who ignore his standards. After being exposed as the Glue Man, Colpeper is remorseful for his silly behaviour and does indeed invite the girls to his lectures. And who knows, he could have eventually found himself a history loving wife among all those female attendees.



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Glue Man

Post  Saint George on Fri 18 Aug 2017, 3:20 am

When Alison, Peter, and Bob arrive by train in Chillingbourne, the acting Station Master, Thomas Duckett explains to them it is Mr. Colpeper's orders that no young lady must go alone at night without an escort. One would think Duckett would have briefly explained the reason behind Colpeper's orders considering there were ten previous glue attacks on women, instead of leaving the trio literally in the dark. As it was, if Alison didn't have the escort she wouldn't have been attacked by the Glue Man which means Colpeper created his own problem.




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Glue Man

Post  Saint George on Fri 18 Aug 2017, 3:25 am

There's many years of study needed when it comes to the inner workings of the mind of the Glue Man. And plenty of different opinions of why he behaved the way he did. Perhaps he really wanted for those women to be caught and punished. It would have given him a rush to have done his "duty" in protecting the local community from scandalous women. But many people would view Colpeper as an ugly misogynist as seen by his behaviour in the first twenty minutes of A Canterbury Tale:

#1. He pours glue onto Alison's hair.

#2. He tells Bob that the Ducking Stool is very sensibly used to silence talkative women.

#3. He refuses to hire Alison because she is a girl.





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Glue Man

Post  Saint George on Fri 18 Aug 2017, 3:50 am

Colpeper's views on women.



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Post  Saint George on Fri 18 Aug 2017, 3:54 am

Alison's later admiration for Colpeper was because of his love for the natural world.

"If ever a man looked right, he did."



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Post  Saint George on Fri 18 Aug 2017, 5:42 am

Even a twisted man like Colpeper can have a change of heart as can be seen in his affection for Alison which began when she attended one of his lectures. Upon her arrival at the institute, she received the predictable wolf whistles from the soldiers, but even that didn't bother Colpeper. During the lecture he was impressed by her knowledge of the Pilgrims Road. Alison did not tell him that the geologist who had unearthed the old coins was in fact her lover, Geoffrey. The look on Colpeper's face clearly showed his delight when Alison said she would donate the coins to his institute. Later in the movie, Alison spots Colpeper on the hill and tells him of the sounds and voices she heard of the old pilgrims. Her ability to "travel through time" convinces Colpeper that she is in tune with history and shares his love for the countryside. In a major change of heart toward a woman, Colpeper invites Alison to sit beside him. There is a hint of romantic chemistry between Colpeper and Alison as he apologizes for being very mistaken about her. Then Alison replies by saying she was mistaken about him, too. When Alison mentions that her "dead" boyfriend loved the hill so much, Colpeper immediately tells her that he also loves it and then asks her if she was engaged. Notice when Alison leans lower into the grass her hair is so close to Colpeper's face that his expression changes to one of guilt (see photo) for pouring glue onto the hair of such a nature loving girl. The next day, when Alison arrives in Canterbury, she goes to the garage to check on her caravan. While she is there, Colpeper unexpectedly makes an appearance. He tries to comfort Alison who is very upset due to her caravan being in a dilapidated state. When the owner of the garage tells Alison that Geoffrey is living in Gibraltar, she almost faints, but then is filled with joy at the news. However, on hearing that Geoffrey is alive, Colpeper disappears knowing he has lost any chance he had with Alison. In the final cathedral scene, there is a poignant moment when Alison passes by Colpeper whose facial expression clearly indicates his sorrow.



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Post  Saint George on Fri 18 Aug 2017, 5:45 am

Colpeper would expect his wife to have a similar personality to his mother - now that's a big call even in those days. Also, he would have been too busy to attend to his wife as can be seen by his active life:

MAGISTRATE

JUSTICE OF THE PEACE

GENTLEMAN FARMER

HOME GUARD

FIRE GUARD

LECTURER

GLUE MAKER





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Post  Saint George on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 12:12 am

Colpeper thinks of himself as the Sheriff of Chillingbourne who is allowed to use force in an attempt to preserve England's heritage and stop moral decay. Let's remember that A Canterbury Tale celebrates pastoralism while it simultaneously encourages civic support for the war effort. However, despite Colpeper's passionate lectures, his behaviour as the Glue Man actually works against England's interest when viewed from the perspective of a "why we fight" war movie. So obsessed is he with regulating village behaviour during his night time assaults as the Glue Man that he lets a light shine through the Town Hall window in a potentially fatal violation of blackout regulations. "Very careless of me. We take our blackouts seriously in East Kent," he declares to Bob Johnson. Despite wearing a Home Guard uniform, Colpeper doesn't protect the citizens of Chillingbourne, but instead undermines the security of his homeland by exposing it to enemy attack. Yes, his motives are right, but by his transformation into the Glue Man (Jekyll & Hyde), and the use of fear and intimidation, he actually contradicts his own teachings regarding the preservation of England with its wonderful history and beautiful countryside.



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