Montaigne9-1-10 - with the socio-economic imbalances that...

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Montaigne’s “On Cannibals” The commentary that Montaigne presents concerning the indigenous people of “Antarctic France” is an interesting contrast between two cultures. He expresses his admiration for their basic, but just way of life, while simultaneously defending them against claims of that they are a “barbaric” society by calling attention to what he considers barbaric practices in his own culture. He argues that the defining factor that differentiates the barbaric and strange from the accepted norm for behavior is simply to what one has become accustomed. He illustrates his point by describing the practice of these island natives that involves cannibalism, and then contrasts it
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Unformatted text preview: with the socio-economic imbalances that exist in France. He presents the question of which is worse, as in both cases, the unfortunate victims waste away and are completely subject to their victors. While one is a prisoner of war, the other is an indebted servant or lower-class citizen. They both lose their lives at the hands of others, yet in both cultures, these respective practices are considered normal and acceptable. Question: What was Montaigne’s target audience and how was it received? How does Montaigne’s argument reflect the underlying principles and values of the Renaissance? I completed the primary source readings for this lecture....
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