Montaigne – of Cannibals

784 WordsMay 5, 20084 Pages
Acceptance and understanding into a persons society is one of the major goals that people strive to achieve. There is a natural tendency for the individual to be compelled to join the majority. Many times, however, a person will change themselves to fit into the group instead of having the group change itself for the person. This forces a person to take action, form opinions or adopt customs that do not reflect their own beliefs. Montaigne addresses the differences between two distinctly different forms of society in his essay Of Cannibals. Montaigne’s comparison between the recently discovered aborigines of the new world and his European society compels a person to reconsider what an ideal society should be. Should a natural state be the…show more content…
The absence of vices also means an absence of a more comfortable living standard. A more comfortable living standard creates more vices. I believe the inhabitants of the new world could live out their lifestyle because they were ignorant to their own possibilities. However, these possibilities were discovered and utilized by the Europeans. With more knowledge and understanding the basic society that Europe once belonged to grew into the society that discovered the new world. The possibility of discovering what an ideal society would be portrayed as is an impossible feat. This is impossible because the ideal society is all subjective. I agree with Montaigne that the basic society, that is ignorant of their potential creativity and imagination, can create an ideal society. I do not agree however, that a complex society is only the things he says it is, brutal and greedy. I believe that he has overlooked all the good qualities that a basic society can
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