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Essay example - The Cheese and the Worms by Carlo Ginzburg

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Pages 4 (1004 words)
This essay discusses the question of what makes ‘The Cheese and the Worms’ so unique that Carlo Ginzburg chose a common man to represent the popular culture of the Renaissance era. The researcher focuses on the possible elements of the dominant culture in Menocchio’s statements…

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This essay discusses the history that usually chronicles the stories of emperors, of wars and conquest, of leaders and heroism. Menocchio, a common man described in ‘The Cheese and the Worms’ bridges the divide between the oral and literature culture which is rather unusual for a commoner at this particular time of history. And, to find possible elements of the dominant culture in Menocchio’s statements and ideas seem a bit overstrained, for he was very exceptional as a person living through the Renaissance and Reformation. Throughout history, people of all races have attained and maintained power through language and communication. Menocchio’s exceptional character that distinguishes him from the rest of his contemporaries becomes most evident by the manner in which he adapted to the transition from the oral communication culture to the written mode. During the changing phase from spoken to written word, and because of the advent of print technology, it has become impossible for the Church to monitor and control the communication flow. This appears to be one of the reasons for the diminishing of its power. This transition of power plays a key role in Menocchio’s life. The fact that Menocchio lived in a time of a recent invention, the printing press, seems to have contributed a lot in changing his outlook. The researcher then concluds one of the most amazing characteristic attribute that makes this common peasant unique and exceptional, that is the ability with which he adapted to the power of the printed word. ...
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