Ii montaigne mike it is no lie to say that these men

Info icon This preview shows pages 2–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
are lesser people and he expects less of them. II. Montaigne (Mike) “It is no lie to say that these men are indeed savages—by our standards; for either they must be or we must be: there is a great gulf between their souls and ours” (239). In this passage, Montaigne makes clear the existence of differently applied standards by which the cannibals are savages. He explains that, if he distances himself from his European standards, the cannibals actually cease to be savage. As much as he seeks such a critical distance from his European biases, this is impossible. This is illustrated when he concludes that he nevertheless sees “an amazing gulf” between their nature and his own. It is this “gulf” that crucially points to his dehumanizing rhetoric, as the presence of and judgment by European standards drives an indissoluble wedge between the European soul, which is fully human, and the savage soul, which, while intrinsically free of critique, is seen by the European as sub-human. We must also remember that when Montaigne adds that “for either they must be
Image of page 2

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
savages or we must be,” he is expressing his incredulity that the European soul could actually be the sub-human one, as opposed to the savages’ soul. The fact that the Europeans and the cannibals differ in their “soul” indicates that from the very beginning of their existence, the cannibals are circumscribed into a thoroughly dehumanized state. There is absolutely no way for Montaigne’s cannibals to ever overcome that “gulf” between humanity and savagery.
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern