A native savage literally means someone who is not corrupted by any kind of external factors like civilization or surroundings. However, a noble savage is considered as careless, ignorant and simple yet innocent person who is not evil in intentions. …
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Noble Savages of 18th-20th Century and their relation to Puritan & Quaker ideas about Native Americans
According to Bryan R.Wilson, author of ‘The Noble Savages: The Primitive Origins of Charisma and Its Contemporary Survival’, the noble salvage believes in the existence of God in that it is inborn and exists within us rather than being an outside external power. It is innate. The concept of noble savage has become popular because it follows the concepts of being honest and of being a neutral but moral human being who believes in ethics yet is not as involved in religion or politics as the Puritans whose number one priority by all means was to follow religion. Puritans believed that this world is just a part of life and does not remain forever. They believed that Native Americans are people who believe in worldly pleasures which are not permanent. However the truth is that in today’s world, this is the kind of life which is very lucrative and seems practical for most people- on the path of righteousness in a worldly way with a lot of flexibility like those of noble salvages who were not considered pious in medieval times.
Stelio Cro suggests that the beliefs of the noble savages were very impressive for many people who began following them, in his book ‘The Noble Savage: Allegory of Freedom’, which is a detailed analysis of the life of these noble savages and how they became so popular. They confessed that they had strong faith in liberty and freedom of speech and expression, in prudence and liberalism, in health and well-being- not only for themselves but for the greater world. They were strong believers of close ties with family and friends and were great advocates of fairness and equitable distribution of resources. They were followers of courage and had the confidence to speak the truth, stay on the right path, be nice to others, accept and respect diversity, and ultimately bring peace to this world. They were against the concept of fighting and war and had made it clear that humanity was more important to them than anyone else. In itself, these beliefs were strong enough attracts a huge amount of people towards them from the other extreme of Puritanism and Quaker Ideas. Puritans were in essence the opposites of noble savages who were aggressive, Protestants, critical and extremists who were highly ethnocentric and would consider themselves as superior. They were of the view that worldly matters are just a matter of time before they vanish and do not matter anymore. During the period when the renaissance was coming to an end and enlightenment was underway in Britain and France as well, the ideology of noble savages had become very lucrative and attractive for people who were moving out of the dark ages and were becoming modernized, educated and enlightened. In the eyes of Robert J. Miller who very well described the noble savage ideology in his book ‘Native America, Discovered And Conquered: Thomas Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, And Manifest Destiny’ said that the noble savage concepts seem to have bought with it an array of hope and light of social revival, peace and harmony to the world for which they were gaining importance and Puritans were losing control and popularity both because their focus was more towards religion than towards humanity and they were considered to be primitive in nature no that the Enlightenment was in process and people wished to move towards more humanitarian
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