Noble savage

noblesavagenoble savages noble savagescivilized savageglorified stone ageignoble savageinnate human goodnessnatural mannobles
A noble savage is a literary stock character who embodies the concept of the indigene, outsider, wild human, an "other" who has not been "corrupted" by civilization, and therefore symbolizes humanity's innate goodness.wikipedia
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Civilization

civilisationcivilizationsancient civilization
A noble savage is a literary stock character who embodies the concept of the indigene, outsider, wild human, an "other" who has not been "corrupted" by civilization, and therefore symbolizes humanity's innate goodness.
Here, civilization, being more rational and socially driven, is not fully in accord with human nature, and "human wholeness is achievable only through the recovery of or approximation to an original prediscursive or prerational natural unity" (see noble savage).

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

RousseauJean Jacques RousseauJ.-J. Rousseau
Contrary to what is sometimes believed, Jean-Jacques Rousseau never used the phrase noble savage (French bon sauvage).
This has led some critics to attribute to Rousseau the invention of the idea of the noble savage, which Arthur Lovejoy conclusively showed misrepresents Rousseau's thought.

Indigenous peoples

indigenousindigenous peopleaboriginal
A noble savage is a literary stock character who embodies the concept of the indigene, outsider, wild human, an "other" who has not been "corrupted" by civilization, and therefore symbolizes humanity's innate goodness.
Some philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes considered indigenous people to be merely "savages," while others are purported to have considered them to be "noble savages".

Tupinambá people

TupinambáTupinambaTupinambás
However, the archetypical character that would later be termed noble savage appeared in French literature at least as early as Jacques Cartier (coloniser of Québec, speaking of the Iroquois) and Michel de Montaigne (philosopher, speaking of the Tupinamba) in the 16th century.
Thevet and Léry were an inspiration for Montaigne's famous essay Des Cannibales, and influenced the creation of the myth of the "noble savage" during the Enlightenment.

Germania (book)

GermaniaDe origine et situ GermanorumDe Germania
Tacitus' De origine et situ Germanorum (Germania), written c.
The mainstream German reception is much less sensationalist and sees Tacitus's description as more patronizing than laudatory, a predecessor of the classical noble savage concept which started in the 17th and 18th centuries in western European literature.

Oroonoko

Oroonoko: or, the Royal Slavenovel of the same nameoriginal work
European angst over colonialism inspired fictional treatments such as Aphra Behn's novel Oroonoko, or the Royal Slave (1688), about a slave revolt in Surinam in the West Indies.
In the 20th century, Oroonoko has been viewed as an important marker in the development of the "noble savage" theme, a precursor of Rousseau and a furtherance of Montaigne, as well as a proto-feminist work.

Cotton Mather

CottonMathergiving a speech on horseback
The tale is of interest because it was known to the New England Puritan divine, Cotton Mather.
Mather viewed Hayy as a noble savage and applied this in the context of attempting to understand the Native American Indians, in order to convert them to Puritan Christianity.

Xenocentrism

One example is the romanticization of the noble savage in the 18th-century primitivism movement in European art, philosophy and ethnography.

Louis Antoine de Bougainville

BougainvilleLouis-Antoine de BougainvilleLouis de Bougainville
In the later 18th century, the published voyages of Captain James Cook and Louis Antoine de Bougainville seemed to open a glimpse into an unspoiled Edenic culture that still existed in the un-Christianized South Seas.
Bougainville's descriptions powerfully expressed the concept of the noble savage, influencing the utopian thoughts of philosophers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau before the advent of the French Revolution.

Tarzan

Tarzan of the ApesTarzan-liketitle character
Weissmuller and his immediate successors were enjoined to portray the ape-man as a noble savage speaking broken English, in marked contrast to the cultured aristocrat of Burroughs's novels.

Magical Negro

Magic NegroBarack the Magic Negroblack angel
This underlines their message that a "magical black character" who goes around selflessly helping white people is a throwback to stereotypes such as the "Sambo" or "noble savage".

Ghân-buri-Ghân

He is seen as a "good guy" with a kind of primitive nobility, a classic example of the noble savage.

Roger Sandall

Sandall, Roger
Another opponent of primitivism is the Australian anthropologist Roger Sandall, who has accused other anthropologists of exalting the "noble savage".
Sandall was a strong critic of romantic primitivism and the concept of the noble savage; he was an advocate of modern civilization.

Plastic shaman

plastic medicine peoplea non-Native who taught fraudulent, "Native-style" ceremoniesfraudulent shamans

John Crawfurd

CrawfurdJohn Crawfurd's Siam missionCrawfurd trade mission
In 1860, John Crawfurd and James Hunt mounted a defense of British imperialism based on "scientific racism".
Ellingson demonstrates Crawfurd's role in promoting the idea of the noble savage in service of racial ideology.

Dances with Wolves

filmfilm adaptationfilm of the same name
According to critics like the Telegraph's Tim Robey, romantically idealized portrayals of non-industrialized or exotic people persist in popular films, as for example in The Lone Ranger or Dances with Wolves.
He argued that its use of the "noble savage" character type "preemptively blunts criticism of the underlying White Savior story. The idea is that a film like Dances With Wolves cannot be bigoted or overly white-centric if it at least shows [characters such as] Kicking Bird and Chief Ten Bears as special and exceptional. This, even though the whole story is about a white guy who saves the day."

Racism in the work of Charles Dickens

The term "noble savage" was in circulation since the 17th century, but Dickens regards it as an absurd oxymoron.

Virtuous pagan

righteous paganunknowing Christiansvirtuous paganism

Romantic racism

colonial romanticizationromantic racist

Stock character

love intereststockStock Characters
A noble savage is a literary stock character who embodies the concept of the indigene, outsider, wild human, an "other" who has not been "corrupted" by civilization, and therefore symbolizes humanity's innate goodness.

Other (philosophy)

Otherthe Otherotherness
A noble savage is a literary stock character who embodies the concept of the indigene, outsider, wild human, an "other" who has not been "corrupted" by civilization, and therefore symbolizes humanity's innate goodness.

Anthropology

anthropologistanthropologicalanthropologists
Besides appearing in many works of fiction and philosophy, the stereotype was also heavily employed in early anthropological works.