On Cannibals “On Cannibals” was written in the year 1580 by the famous and among the most seminal of the French Renaissance. A thorough introspection through the document, “On Cannibals”, shall launch the readers onto a plethora of understanding operating within different realms of explanation subjected to human comprehension. The frankness and lucidity of the document operates within myriad layers of argumentative doctrines set upon the cannibalistic instinct of human beings and puts the conventional approaches of human mind towards cannibalism into multitudes of paradoxical dogmas. The document, “On Cannibalism” is not at all dictating; it is not persuasive however.
Nowhere within the text did one find any kind of pressure upon the European readers to adhere the practices of cannibals. Montaigne, in the text, in a very plain and simple manner describes with details and precision, as much he was able to gather during the time upon the cannibalistic practices. But a contrast between the two cultures, as noted by Montaigne, sets a comparative study for enhancing or pointing towards the flaws inherent within his own culture. The passage where the cannibalism is described as “barbarous horror” and the practice of eating roasted flesh of a dead man is assumed such term, Montaigne compares the act with the European act of “tearing a body limb from limb by racks and torments”.
Such a comparison makes it evident that Montaigne had hinted that eating a dead man is less barbaric than torturing an alive and then kill him (Washington State University, “Michel de Montaigne: On Cannibals (1580)”). Through these comparisons, the purpose of the text, “On Cannibalism” becomes more evident. The purpose is to bring the readers to terms with the central thought of the text, which revolves around finding of true honor and vigor, which Montaigne explains does not lie within the physical strength of a man or within the physicality of civilization.
Rather, the true honor and velour lies within the mind and soul of a good willed person (Porter, “Moral Barbarism in Montaignes “Of Cannibals””). Works CitedPorter, Jane. Moral Barbarism in Montaignes “Of Cannibals”. Brown University, 2003. Web, 15 Aug. 2013.. “Michel de Montaigne: On Cannibals (1580)”.
World Civic Reader. Washington State University, 1998. Web. 15 Aug. 2013..