Troglodytes and the Harem

Essay by germanpunter1College, UndergraduateB, October 2013

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Olson 4

Jared Olson

History 189H Hour 11:00-12:30



Organization and Absolutism

It is a well-known idea that when kids go off to college, they can tend to go a little wild and crazy. This is because the organization and absolute rule they have been used to from their parents has suddenly vanished. Society works in a very similar way as every great society has structure and organization. In Persian Letters, Montesquieu makes clear his opinion on the role that organization has on society, and where absolutism belongs in society.

Montesquieu uses the Troglodytes to show the reader the problems with absolutism and not having organization. Usbek states that the Troglodytes "had a king of foreign origin" (PL 53) who tried to reform the Troglodytes of their wickedness. The Troglodytes, however, having no virtues, cannot stand to be controlled and kill off the foreign king and his family.

The Troglodytes decide soon thereafter that they would be better off with no rule and decided to live only for themselves, plowing only enough food for themselves. Soon enough famine and other disaster strike the Troglodytes, each time one refusing to help the other because it would not benefit themselves, and many die off. Similarly disease strikes and a doctor comes to the aide, however since there no one is forcing them to pay they refuse to pay the doctor. When the disease comes back, no one is there to help the Troglodytes, and all of the remaining Troglodytes except two die. The society dies because it has no organization, no one to tell them that their best interest may be in helping out the other Troglodytes. The two families that remained were the only two who had virtues and cared for each other, thus have some organization in their...