Essay of Cannibals

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, Western culture, United States Pages: 2 (701 words) Published: November 10, 2011
Montaigne’s Essay of Cannibals seems to generally be about the Renaissance and what was going on during 16th Century. People were starting to question authority instead of blindly following it. The Renaissance in a way put Western civilization into what is now modern times. When Montaigne wrote those Europe had not yet changed and grow to what it later on became, so he does an excellent job pointing out a lot of flaws during society at that time. The general theme seems to be about human rights and equality.

What Montaigne essentially does is compare a tribe in South America to Western society. The sarcastic tone that is used when he says, “Now, to return to my subject, I think there is nothing barbarous and savage in that nation, from what I have been told, except that each man calls barbarism whatever is not his own practice; for indeed it seems we have no other test of truth and reason than the example and pattern of the opinions and customs of the country we live in. (Montaigne 2646)” Montaigne uses this quote to show the prejudice that was present during the time. There was still persecution based on religion and social class, so this quote paints that picture well. The Native Americans in the book live very simplistic life styles. The men hunt and gather food, while the women prepare the food and drink for the men. Everything is shared among the tribe. Montaigne says that the innovation that has occurred in Europe basically has created different social class, people in politics have more influence over things, and things in general turn into a more complicated lifestyle. It is evident that the Native Americans, although living a simple lifestyle, live a healthier lifestyle. What they eat and they way they cook it is healthy. They use all natural material, so there is no harm to the environment; everything is in balance.

What makes the Native American tribe seem very savage like is the cannibalism and polygamy. The thought of eating another...
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