Four Levels of The Savage Male

The Savage Male Four Levels

The Savage Male by Marvin Harris is an anthropology-related story. Where Anthropology refers to the study of society, people, and their development.

Four levels part of The Savage Male are Literal comprehension, Interpretation, Critical thinking, and Assimilation are mentioned below:

Literal Comprehension

The Savage Male is a story composed by Marvin Harris (1927-2001). In this story, Napoleon Chagnon who was an observer presented the culture or living style of Yanomamo tribesmen as well as American Indian tribesmen, located in Brazil/Venezuela.

In this story, in the first period, females were kept in a cage (Bambo). After the marriage males are used to beating their wives as much as possible.

Males used Hallucinogenic powder. When they use this powder they feel more powerful as well as when they beat their wives they feel superior.

Also when their wife is beaten by them they used to feel that I am brave and powerful. They used to force their sons to beat their daughters.

According to this tribe’s people, they give too much respect to their relative’s brother-in-law. Where they do club fights, chest pounding, scare fighting, etc.

Also, Yanomamo males are used to thinking that we are made from the blood of the moon. All the time they used to fight as much as possible, and this has been their mechanism of life.


Maybe this story is trying to show us the male-dominated society of the Yanomamo people. It proves human beings are savage.

By doing fights they used to feel superior. The beating & suffering of men is considered a sign of love for women. The powerful always ruled over the weak.

It also proves the meaning of life to a man is to satisfy his ego. Maybe it also interpreted the living style of people where there is no type of education as well as democracy.

Critical Thinking

When I read this story it arises too many questions in my mind, and some of them are:

  • Is it possible to get supernatural power by taking a hallucinogenic powder?
  • Is it possible to believe that type of society in human beings?
  • Is it possible to encourage their son to beat their daughter?
  • Is it possible to beat your wife?
  • Similarly, is it possible to survive that type of cage without food as well as water? (Bambo)
  • Is not there any human organization welfare for women?

Hence, it is too much difficult to believe for modern readers.


Before reading this text (The savage male) I used to think that human beings are civilized, social, educated & superior to other living creatures.

But after reading this text I realize that human beings are also savage, uncivilized, and barbaric. As well as they used to do whatever for their existence. Hence, it changed my thinking way toward human beings.

Read Next: The Wretched Stone Four Levels

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