Marxist criticism of The Pardoner's Tale
Marxist criticism focuses on plot, character and actions which are motivated by tension between social classes and between populations and economic power bases.
The Pardoner is a man who uses the means at his disposal, however corruptly, to survive in a system that keeps people economically subjugated.
Marxist criticism sees the Church in medieval times as primarily a social - human structure. It held enormous power over people both spirtually, and crucially, economically.
The Pardoner is someone who infiltrates the power socio- economic organisation (the Church), ignores its spirtual dimension and uses his skill to extract personal gain from it.
He is far from a perfect role model because he doesnt relieve the Church itself of any wealth, but diverts the income stream it relied on from poor believers to his own pocket.