An Analysis Of Of Cannibals By Michel De Montaigne

1190 Words5 Pages
Sandy Lochu
World Literature
8 December 2015
Frank. Brevik Of Cannibals Of Cannibals is an essay, one of those in the collection Essays of Michel de Montaigne that was written at the end of a decisive period in the history of humanity, the Renaissance. This period corresponds in France to the rise of the bourgeoisie, the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. This growth is directly perceptible by several aspects, first and foremost the development of large cities in Europe and France, a result of the eruption of a social class around the trade. Montaigne was born in 1533 into a noble Catholic family. We (the French) are in the total period of Renaissance and Francis I reign over France (since 1515). The Lutheran Reformation (Protestantism)
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The title of the essay seems to settle the question: he names the Indians "cannibals". And no sane person could assimilate cannibals to anything but savages. The question seems heard. Yet Montaigne will show us the opposite. Montaigne shows that the term "savages", including in our vocabulary, does not necessarily have negative connotations: in his example, wild fruit would even be "superior" to a cultivated fruit, as it is created by nature, by our Creator who is good by definition. Thus, for Montaigne, the savage is to the French the wild fruit to the cultivated…show more content…
Of course, Native Americans have different codes, their own morals issued from their lifestyle, which in no case may enter our Christian boxes. But that does not make them wild but only different human beings. For Montaigne, the savage, it is the French or even European, intolerant, exploitative, cruel, the one who made a gladiatorial combat, a bullfighting, hunting ,a public hanging, a show, a leisure, the slave trade, of greed and power a national
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