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Playing With / Noble Savage

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Basic Trope: "Uncivilized" peoples are shown as being morally superior to "civilized" people.

  • Straight: Bob comes from a modern society filled with dishonest, corrupt, greedy politicians and businessmen. He comes into contact with a tribe of "savages" only to find out that they are more diligent, honest, and in tune with the earth than his own society is.
  • Exaggerated: The barbarian tribe is a Mary Suetopia.
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  • Downplayed: The Barbarian Tribe is better than civilized people in many ways, but they are still flawed people.
  • Justified:
    • Because the "savages" are not part of the Evil Empire that Bob just left, and look very good in comparison.
    • Savages just don't have time for some vices.
    • The Barbarian Tribe recently heard the message of a great prophet.
  • Inverted: A person from a primitive culture leaves his tribe for modern, urban society and finds the people there morally superior.
  • Subverted:
    • The tribe appears to be made up of Noble Savages but they turn out to be just as dishonest, corrupt, and greedy as anyone in "civilized" society.
    • The "savages" are paid actors.
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied: They kill those who are not noble.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted:
    • They are all jerks.
    • Bob never encounters a tribe of primitive people.
  • Enforced: "The plot requires Bob to encounter a nomadic tribe, but we can't portray them as savages. Not in this day and age. Let's have Bob view them as a welcome change from the corrupt city people he's always known."
  • Lampshaded: "Don't worry, they may be stupid, but they are nice."
  • Invoked: A group consciously rejects technology and mainstream culture, deliberately building a society on primitivist ideals.
  • Exploited:
  • Defied: "Screw nobility! I'm going to act like a REAL savage!"
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: The work examines poverty and hardship caused by a life of hunting-gathering or subsistence farming. A life of near constant desperation makes it hard for the tribe to create the moral codes we'd expect from Noble Savages. Truth in Television as nomadic tribes had little room for compassion to the sick and disabled. Infanticide was also common.
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  • Reconstructed: But in spite, or maybe because of, all this hardship, the moral code and honor they adopt are iron clad and makes them more noble than those who are not "savages"
  • Played For Laughs: Honor Before Reason to silly extremes.
  • Played For Drama: Honor Before Reason to deadly extremes.

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