Of Cannibals And Thomas More's Utopia And Michel De Montaigne

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An ideal society is a model that strives to function the most efficiently. Both Thomas More’s Utopia and Michel de Montaigne’s “Of Cannibals” state the fundamentals of specific ideal societies. The differences in these perfect societies are driven by the principles they are based upon. More’s society is based off cultural order while Montaigne’s is based on natural order. The two foundations cause geographic, social, and political differences.
Geographic differences include physical and human characteristics of a society. This includes where the civilization is located, and the specific features of each landscape. In “Of Cannibals”, “the situation of their country is along the sea-shore, enclosed on the other side towards the land, with great and high mountains, having about a hundred leagues in breadth between.” (Montaigne 3). Similarly, Utopia’s ideal society is also by the ocean but it is a crescent island, that is naturally protected by rocks that surround the island (More 49). While these locations may seem to offer similar advantages, More’s island is specifically different because the maze of rocks that surrounds it. The reasoning behind this is to have the entrance to the island be a secret between the citizens. The added protection is a geographic difference that originates from cultural order.
Another environmental difference between the societies is the development. Montaigne’s civilization lacks all types of infrastructure except housing. He states “their buildings are very long, and of capacity to hold two or three hundred people, made of the bark of tall trees” (Montaigne 3). While these structures seem large, these are the only types of buildings they have, so overall the land is quite underdeveloped. On the contrary, in More’s society “There are fifty-four splendid big towns on the island, all with the same language, laws, customs, and institutions.” (More 50) In Utopia, there are excess buildings for commerce and government. These geographic disparities stem from the principles of nature and culture.
The final geographic difference is in agriculture. In “Of Cannibals” there is no form of agriculture. The absence of cultivation is because the society does not encourage technological

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