Both Johnson and Montaigne offer their opinions about the groups of people they are observing, yet both use different techniques in supporting their claims. Johnson on one hand mostly uses his own experience and his own observation of the group of people inside of the stage coach as the support for the reader to refer to when he makes statements about people's actions. Montaigne on the other hand, uses anecdotes from well know western authors in order to support his claims about people he has never observed himself. Does this give Montaigne less journalistic credibility than Johnson or vice-versa?
2. Montaigne states that he had believed that those tribal peoples were the only "cannibals" and "barbarians" before, but he uses this essay to state that if they are "cannibals" and "barbarians" then the westerners (the group of people he is a part of are much worse. Montaigne therefore in observing another peoples comes to a conclusion about his own people. Johnson however, observe the people within the stage coach and although he is involved and is most likely disguising himself as well, only comments on others instead of including himself within his conclusions. Why is this?
3. Though Montaigne states that the West's psychology is wrong for viewing these people as barbarians, he uses Western text that help educate Westerner's into their way of thinking. In much the same way, Johnson is a participant in disguising himself and not letting the other passengers know that he is observing them, yet he chooses not to include himself within his conclusions of the consequences of doing so. Would this be viewed as hypocrisy of the authors by readers?
4. What is the effect of Johnson only using "I" and giving an account of what he sees in the first person as opposed to Montaigne and his ability to include the reader in his statements by saying "we" while also writing in the first person?
Last modified 5 March 2007