Cannibals close reading 1

Almost immediately montaigne is betraying his

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support anyone claim. Almost immediately Montaigne is betraying his distrust of the complicated and two-faced nature of European life. A simple man see's the world in a more pure sense than the intellectual who see's it in whatever terms best suits him. The next time Montaigne uses the word he is using it to describe the lifestyle of the Native people of America. He exclaims that their purity is so impressive that he is annoyed that they were not discovered earlier. He lauds the Native's lack of 'artifice' and their guileless nature. He compares the Native's society to Plato's Republic and hints at the Natives superiority. In the passage he explains that, “Among them you hear no words for treachery, lying, cheating avarice,
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envy, backbiting or forgiveness(p.233).” The implication being that European society has become rife with these kind degrading ideas, and that a society devoid of them is purer and therefore better. Montaigne also compares the Native's purity with that of Nature. He explains that the Native's have no desires beyond that, “which Nature purely and simply endows...(p. 237)”
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  • Spring '12
  • KIM
  • The Republic, Native Americans in the United States, Michel de Montaigne

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