Montaigne On The Cannibals Analysis

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There are many effects prejudices have on both historical and modern societies. These prejudices are apparent in Price of Love and La Traviata, where the female protagonists are each harshly judged by society for their professions. Montaigne thoroughly addressed such prejudices and decoded societal perceptions of “barbarous” acts. Modern societies as a whole, however, are often quick to place judgements without offering resolutions. In both Price of Love and La Traviata, the female protagonists move to a new world to seek a progressive society, yet discover these progressive societies are more focused on identifying social injustices rather than solving them, as illustrated by Montaigne in his essay On the Cannibals and its analyzation by …show more content…
The journal, Dialectical Structure and Tactics in Montaigne 's "Of Cannibals” by Steven Rendall, focuses on both Montaigne’s essay and its useful education to others. When discussing Montaigne, the quick judgements people make about other societies is noted, but Rendall flips this judgement back on to the readers and describes that Montaigne would be upset at how most people judge his writing style solely based on On the Cannibals, rather than reading each one of his other essays, as well (56). The reader, after seeing the title, automatically assumes the essay is about cannibals, when, reality, it tears down the prejudices toward them. Rendall also describes how the task is to “view the essay less as an expression of Montaigne’s opinions than as a series of strategies designed to move the reader in a certain direction” (57). This quote supports the idea that Montaigne was not only analyzing social prejudices, but also guiding the reader to a more educated way of taking action against such issues. This is because while Montaigne thoroughly expressed his opinions, he also neutralized the reader into understanding that the cannibals of Brazil are not “barbaric,” a step toward preventing further prejudice. The journal also discusses Montaigne’s use of describing New World customs and “how they sleep, eat, drink, dress, and cut their hair” (Rendall 60) to show the …show more content…
After leaving her ancestral home in search of greater opportunities, she is slowly absorbed into the dangerous world of human trafficking. Price of Love was an attempt to humanize prostitutes, yet it only demonstrated the injustices of the profession rather than proposing solutions, a common issue in modern progression. Societies often consider themselves to be progressive simply by understanding there is an issue, but more than realization must occur. Actions must be taken to prevent further inequality. This lack of action, however, is thoroughly demonstrated in Price of Love. Teddy, the male protagonist, understands the circumstances in which Fere lives, for his mother was also a prostitute, but he remained quick to judge her rather than prevent or improve her situation. After viewers see Teddy’s sympathy for Fere’s profession, they automatically assume he is progressive. Once he is involved in the situation and suffers Fere’s hardships, however, Teddy frees himself and no longer aids her or further prevents her from entering into the world of human trafficking. This is a prime example of the issue with realizing social injustice, but not taking action to prevent the obvious discrimination. Teddy is also incapable of separating who she is as a human from her profession, and thus automatically places judgement on her and sees her, as Montaigne states, as “barbaric.”

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