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Free Rabelais Carnival Themes in the Fourth Book Essay Sample

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In Rabelais fourth book, the paratexual frame of text is a continuation of the previous books. Rabelais is among the ancient authors who were not popular despite their excellent work in writing. The story line of the book describes the lifestyle of islanders in the islands, in Colombia. He also expresses the spirit of the islanders, and their exuberant refusal to be captured by the state authority. Apart from outlining several themes, Rabelais has also used many stylistic devices that capture the attention of the readers. Rabelais was not celebrated like other authors for his efforts in developing the art of writing.

Rabelais's fourth book is among the best books published in the 16th century. In his work, he explores the theme of ignorance alongside other themes. He achieves this through narration using first person. The story revolves around openness and insecurity. Throughout the story, the reader is able to realize that the narrator's ignorance is over come through the persistence of islanders. This communication eases the relationship the Lents and the carnivals. They are open with each other, and their insecurities are affirmed. The narrator's abilities to communicate are improved through interaction with the blind man that he previously discriminated against.

Antagonism and war

The book was written in the 16 century when there was war almost everywhere. Different people from different backgrounds were fighting other communities so as to prove their superiority. In this case, Rabelais states that the fights were due to disagreement over land and property ownership. For example, Friar John was a carnival reveller who was always eager to fight for unreasonable issues such as food. There is antagonism between the carnivals and the Lents. John always influences pantagruelians to go and fight the Lents in their island. Panurge who is a captain in a ship sets a plan to unite his men and attack the people leaving in the island. Fortunately, the people leaving on the island manage to escape by jumping into a nearby river, leaving their properties to be lavished by the attackers.

There is also antagonism between the sausages and the quaresmeprenant. The sausages represent the Protestants; while on the other hand, quarasmeprenant represents the Catholics. Tribalism is also a factor that separates the two Christian religions. People from different tribes cannot be in the same church, and when this is done, the person involved in the act is considered a traitor by others and is severely punished.


Christianity is among the religions that are recognized by most of the people in the island as described in the book. There are contrasts between liturgy and Christian doctrine as conceived in the Roman Catholic Church in Europe. Carnivals responded to the annual cycle of Lenten sermons and repentance as an obvious activity. They did not realize the whole concept of repentance and contrition like other Christians. There are Protestants and the Catholics in the Christian religion. The Christians believes in the spirit of fasting, and dedicating their first agricultural products to churches. There are rituals, and sacrifices performed in case of famine, infertility, diseases or any calamity facing the community.


Illiteracy was one of major causes of the conflicts that led to war between the Lents and the carnivals. The few who were literate empowered the other through poems, prose narratives, ballads, and marginal illustrations. They were written on woodcuts and paintings. There were celebrations meant to congratulate the work of the elite who educated the other in the form of writings. Although Christianity is practiced by many, people do not follow the values of Christianity. For instance, there is antagonism between people in different tribes, and people from different tribes are not supposed to worship in the same church. This is one of the reasons that led to the development of many churches.


It is the misuse of power by been being dishonesty and disobeying government's loyalty. Corruption is also seen in various cases in the book; where by people of a different background and tribe are treated differently. Tribalism has highly contributed to it, and has even been practiced in churches. It is unbelievable how people are blessed by almost everything despite practicing these immoral practices in churches. The state authority is full of corruption, and individuals in the government use their power to favour their people. Rabelais explains the exchange of money in churches in order to be given first priorities in the church's activities.


The carnivals were well known for their bravery and superiority. They were associated with cruelty and the power to fight intruders on the island. They used to be warlike and lived in a harsh environment leading a very harsh life. They were good at riding horses when grazing and accurate in using bow and arrows. They used these skills as one of their military tools and helped them in conquering their enemies. Most of them led a nomadic life and solely depended on other communities for food. Their life style contributed to the poverty since the birth rate was very high when compared to the death rate. As their population grew, the demand for more food became higher. They used their military skills in robbing other communities and acquiring their property to enrich themselves. They used to take their food, kill the strongest men in their families and took their women leaving the others helplessly.


People living in the island used to practice different economic activities such as trade and even farming. The geographical location of their region influenced them to lead a nomadic life. Trade developed international routes and greatly contributed to the antiquity in the middle Stone Age period. The growth of the economic standard on the island led to political growth and the carnivals became a strong and equipped community. The islanders were able to extend their boundaries and pastoralist had a large land to graze their livestock and farmers to cultivate. Although they were successful in making all this progress, it also made many mistakes that have never been corrected. Historians mainly concentrated on the positive achievements of the people of the carnivals as the islanders.


Rabelais seems to be interested by the plight of the slaves captured by the Germans after winning a battle. Slaves are forced to work in the farms of the Germans without any payment and are taxed at the end of the day. Humanity seems to be buried, and forgotten. People are murdered mercilessly when trying to go against their rules. The Germans took the valuable property of their slaves and claimed to own the island. Despite the oppression, experienced by the slaves, they never give up; they are determined to fight for their freedom even if it cost their lives. Through the influence of the elite, the slaves realize their ability to defend their dignity as human beings. However, the slaves unite and manage to go against their rule and escape the slave camp.


Nevertheless, the mistakes made in the past are the experiences that shape the lifestyle in the future. For instance, colonization is the factor that led to independence. However, the world is now a safe place for human beings, people of different ethnic can live and work together harmoniously. Globalization has also brought people together, in order to develop the world economically.

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