Of Cannibals Essay Sample - New York Essays.
The essay is not a work of anthropology, whether the Indians really practiced cannibalism is irrelevant to the point it wants to make. Montaigne uses the contrast between the fictional Indian society and the European society to point out flaws in the latter. At the beginning of the essay, he raised the questions whether the New World could be Plato’s Atlantis. He does that in order to create.
Interestingly enough, a reader of Montaigne’s “On Cannibals” knows that the natives described in this essay operate and function with “no clothes” (110). In fact, Montaigne seems to have been so impacted by the nudeness or nakedness of the natives that he references their lack of clothes in the final line of his essay: “All this does not seem too bad. But then, they do not wear.
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.
Montaigne stopped the flow of his argument to point out he has forgotten a point to sort of ground the reader and draw his attention to the new topics he brings up. This is a powerful tool that Montaigne uses in his favor toward the end of his essay. Another rhetorical device he uses is the over-arching metaphor of the criticism on cannibalism.
What is Montaigne's purpose in saying this? He is criticizing the way his own government treats its enemies. He is addressing the treatment of animals in his own community. He is explaining why he thinks that cannibalism is a wise idea. He is asserting that he thinks it is a bad idea to eat people alive. He is criticizing the way his own government treats its enemies. Our utmost endeavors.
Cannibalism is definitely not a topic I had ever expected to read about, especially for a class. Montaignes essay on a Brazilian tribe and the culture that they followed was initially quite off putting to me for one very obvious reason, they saw the act of cannibalism to be an honorable thing for the victim, and how they could perceive it as that completely escaped me and seemed so wrong to me.
A cannibalistic society would literally consume itself, even though Montaigne grapples with the innate disgust of cannibalism in the essay where he muses about the possibilities of relativism as an ideology. A society founded upon genocide or warlike violence must be contained, lest it threaten the existences and equally valid perspectives of neighboring cultures. And there is the paradox that.