Montaigne's Credit To The Cannibals Analysis

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I will analyze this passage because of the way Montaigne gives credit to the cannibals and how he attempts to justify their humanity instead of foolishly condemning their lifestyle that is initially regarded as improbable especially when his own culture seems foolish to the cannibals. The European’s view was that all non- Europeans were savages, cannibals, less than human, and therefore to be feared. The passage will require comparison between both groups in respect to each other’s culture and their justification for the acts they perform and why each group can potentially be seen as the other. Montaigne states that as the Greeks and Turks, when they invaded Italy, the generals said that there were no barb behavior in enemies, but the Greeks still called them barbarians. The kings were…show more content…
This is evident by “bringing home the head of the enemy he has killed and fixes over the door of his house” which symbolizes their pride and honor to be in battle; the more heads, the more glory and valor for that warrior. For the prisoners that they have caught, they treat the prisoners “very well and give them regales”. In comparison to the Europeans, they treated their prisoners of war nicely, something that Europeans would not have done, and then eventually eat their enemies, something that Europeans would not do as well. They would only eat and cannibalize their enemies after killing them and showing them respect. Montaigne argues that the Europeans practice of killing prisoners of war by “shooting them until they were stuck full of arrows, hang them, tearing the body from limb to limb, or releasing dogs upon a live person” was more barbaric than what the Brazilians do. Even though Montaigne knew the Brazilians were barbarians, he reserved the title for the Europeans. This is because the Europeans did their acts to a living prison of war, whereas the barbarians only did their act of cannibalism when their enemy was
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