Of Cannibals By Montaigne

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An analysis of ‘Of Cannibals’ by Michel de Montaigne In the essay ‘Of Cannibals’, Montaige makes an observation of Cannibals and compares their activities with Europeans who consider the cannibals barbaric. He uses examples and contrast in his text giving attention to details which makes his claims appealing to the audience. He criticizes the Europeans for calling cannibals barbaric just because cannibals practice a different culture than the Europeans. The use of an example to explain this claim is appealing. He compares Europeans calling Cannibals barbaric with people calling natural fruits wild and stresses on the fact that cannibals are not barbaric but closer to the nature than the Europeans. Montaige’s major claim in the essay is that…show more content…
He describes in his essays how cannibals are barbaric by describing about their war. They go to the war naked carrying bows and swords and a lot of blood is always guaranteed. They detach enemies’ arms, roast and eat it. The author fulfills his purpose not by saying that these actions are not non-barbaric but by comparing their barbarism with the Europeans. He compares the cannibals’ direct barbarism to Europeans’ moral barbarism. Cannibals eat dead bodies while the Europeans “tear a body limb from limb to racks and torments”. The way Europeans treat not only their mortal enemies but even their “neighbors and fellow-citizens” badly based on their color or religion which the author feels is much more barbaric than eating men after they are dead. Another comparison in the essay is about the foundation of wars. The wars cannibals fight are “noble and generous” for they have no other foundation for wars other than valor. Courage and honor is extremely valuable to them and fight with each other just to prove themselves better in valor. On the other hand, Europeans fight for materialistic purpose, for the sole purpose of possession of goods. They are greedy and always want more than they need. Their wars are for conquest of land which do not belong to

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