A literary concept of the natural goodness of an uncivilized man, unspoiled by the corrupting influences of civilization, wherein a person of barbaric or savage heritage (such as one from an isolated tribe or region) demonstrates aspects of virtue and honour.

This concept is a dominant theme in the Romantic writings of the 18th and 19th centuries, especially in the works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Numerous other authors have explored this concept with such characters as Queequeg in Moby Dick by Herman Melville and Tarzan in the various books by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Modern authors have also explored the concept; to wit: Storyteller, a character in Piers Anthony's novel, Tatham Mound is an elegant example of the noble savage, as is Ludo, from the movie and novel Labyrinth, and most recently, Mani, the native American action hero from Le Pacte des Loups.

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