Colonizers are savage because they perpetrated violence against New World inhabitants, and produced open bodies that spill its internal parts outward. Secondly, they enslaved healthy Natives to endless labour, thus wounding their bodies and increasing its risk of illness. Gaping flesh and poor health are characteristic of the grotesque and as the creators of such figures, Spanish colonizers embody barbarism themselves. Las Casas describes Spaniards as “butchers” (101, 104, 116) to describe the way they cut up humans into piece...
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...ack of containment regarding inner bodily fluids were evidence of barbarism because it conflicted with the European norms of the classic contained body. However, the disproportionate death tolls and production of grotesque bodies by the colonizers themselves, established a direct affiliation between two groups. Western conquests resulted in grotesque bodies that were bloody, sick with diseases, and covered in bodily injuries. Additionally, through extreme consumption, Europeans themselves became a grotesque body. To complicate the matter, at times, accusations of cannibalism made against the Natives were staged so that colonizers could capitalize the New World. As a result, both Montaigne and Las Casas reduced the gap between colonizers and the colonized by establishing a link between the grotesque body and Westerners, which then connect to the notions of barbarism.
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