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Modern Cannibals of the Wild

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Nicole Limpin Limpin

on 19 February 2015

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Transcript of Modern Cannibals of the Wild

Name: Basil Johnston
D.O.B: July 13, 1929
Wasauksing First Nation
Ontario, Canada
He was a graduate of Loyola College in Montreal Quebec in 1954. He became part of the ethnology department of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto in 1969, where he stayed until his retirement. He continued his career as an ethnologist, non-fiction writer, essayist, short-story writer, autobiographer, and educator, Johnston became a prolific writer. His essays constantly include themes concerned with the preservation of his native Ojibwa culture, leading him towards recognition and awards. “For his work in preserving Ojibwa language and culture, he has received the Order of Ontario and Honorary Doctorates from the University of Toronto and Laurentian University. Basil has also received the 2004 Aboriginal Achievement Award for Heritage and Spirituality.”
The Ojibwe History
Basil Johnston
Paragraph 7:
Actually, the weendigoes did not die out; they have only been assimilated and reincarnated as corporations, conglomerates and multinationals.
Rhetorical Analysis
Detailed Listing
Presentation by Rebecca, Alicia, Rachel and Nicole
Past tense
tells readers the essay will compare and contrast the differences between the then and now.
The use of
demonstrative adjectives
(this) &
definitive articles
(the) emphasize a proud and empowered native tone.
shows the bounty of the land.
Modern Cannibals of the Wild
The myth, put simply, define weendigoes as cannibals who feed on "bad" humans to alleviate their hunger but no matter how much they eat, were never satisfied.
Main Theme: Greed
You are what you eat
Mythical weendigoes are humans who had greed for human flesh (cannibals) [paragraph 4]
Modern weendigoes are humans that have the greed of any other human for money, power, etc. [paragraph 11]
Bountiful. A lot of words, almost seems never ending.
Large to small / general to specific
Compared to previous readings, the listing has the impact of annoyance.
Listing is a metaphor in itself symbolizing a weendigo's greed. That overwhelming amount of words emphasize the idea of a weendigoes insatiability. Tone of "more, and more, and more..."
Tone changes in the break between paragraphs 12-13. The listing isn't as intense as the beginning half of the essay. This tone is a metaphor for clear cutting and scarcity.
Rhetorical Analysis cont'd
You are what you eat
The myth was meant to prevent greed through fear of being eaten by a cannibal:

The myth "died out" but the human disposition of a weendigo can be observed in modern human behavior
A modern weendigo is ignorant comporting itself with an air of cultured & dignified respectability
Rhetorical Analysis cont'd
Deforastation / Clear Cutting
Compare & Contrast
The Myth & The Modern
Cannibals (ate other humans)
Never satisfied
Represent real human cupidity
Only went after the: improvident, slothful, gluttonous, promiscuous, injudicious, insatiable, selfish, avaricious, wasteful
myth meant to project image of universal & unchanging human disposition
Corporations, conglomerates,and multinationals
Cupidity is insatiable
Evolved into what they ate: "You are what you eat"
they do not feed on human flesh but on the food of their ancestor's prey (money, power, comfort, etc.)
Comports itself with an air of cultured and dignified respecability
Algonquian family 1500 years ago
Different from other tribes from the Algonquian
Known for farming, fur trade, and being allies to French
Dominant tribal power in the great lakes/territory
Lost land in order to feed families
Modern Ojibwe rebounded and are currently thriving
Did you find Johnston's metaphor made his message more clear and easier to read or more confusing?

Do you agree with Johnston's point of view about clear cutting?

We always have the choice of changing our minds and realizing mistakes. In clear cutting, corporations have made some terrible mistakes. Do you think it is too late for these corporations to fix the damage they have done?
The future is scarce
Ends his essay with a final straight-to-the-point (without listing) sentence:
Many others are assessing the weendigoes' accomplisments not in terms of dollars but in terms of damage -- the damage they have inflicted on the environment and the climate and on botanical and zoological life.
(Paragraph 20)
Johnston, Basil. (2013). Modern cannibals of the wilds. In F. Gavin, E. Donville & D. Vavrusa (Eds.), Effective reading and writing for COMM 170 and beyond. Boston: Pearson Learning Solutions. p. 55 - 57.
Treuer, A., Wood, K., Fitzhugh, W. W., Horse Capture, Sr., G. P., Fraizer, T. L., Miller, M. R., Belarde-Lewis, M., & Norwood, J. (2010). Indian nations of north america. Washington D.C.: National Geographic.
CNN Explains: Deforestation. (2013, September 23). Retrieved November 26, 2014, from https://www.youtube(.)com/watch?v=M4jhjt1_eyM
Timelapse: Devastating Deforestation. (2012, July 24). Retrieved November 26, 2014, from https://www.youtube(.)com/watch?v=hllU9NEcJyg
Even though a weendigo is a mythical figure, he represents real human cupidity. What the old-time storyteller meant to project in the image of the weendigo was a universal and unchanging human disposition.
(Paragraph 5)
Full transcript