Analysis Of The Poem ' Cannibals '

1363 WordsSep 14, 20156 Pages
In 1516 Sir Thomas More published Utopia, a book that describes in vivid detail the structure that is necessary for a community to live free of greed, self-interest, and violence. In it, he concocts a hypothetical and virtuous city-state that is very organized with rules governing leadership, division of labor, and private property. In 1580, sixty-four years after More’s publication, Michel Eyquem De Montaigne published Of Cannibals. Of Cannibals is a factual essay that describes a society living in ‘Antarctic France’. A captivating aspect of Montaigne’s essay is how it presents a real society that has the critical elements that More stated were necessary for a utopian society. Montaigne’s society highly reveres valor and virtue and has customs that govern the figureheads of society, division of labor, and private property. A shocking element that separates Montaigne’s society from More’s is the fact that the inhabitants of Antarctic France practice cannibalism. The primary reason that Montaigne focuses on cannibalism is to emphasize the degree to which valor and virtue is venerated by the inhabitants of Antarctic France. The two societies, one hypothetical and one factual both state similar requirements that are necessary for a society’s populace to cooperate; however, More’s focus is lack of private property ownership, while Montaigne’s is valor and virtue. Utopia by Sir Thomas More and Of Cannibals by Michel Eyquem De Montaigne assert in varying degrees that the elements
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