In the 20th century too, the public execution of circus elephants was a relatively common sight. Elephants who went on rampages, taking the lives of humans in their unhappy wakes, needed to be punished. Crowds demanded justice and they received a spectacle in return: Mary, a five-ton circus elephant who killed her new trainer, was hanged for the crime by heavy-duty construction equipment in 1916 in Tennessee; more infamously, Topsy, another circus performer gone bad, this time on Coney Island in New York, was fed poison, electrocuted and strangled in 1903, all the while being filmed by a crew from the Edison Studios. Dumbo , it seems, wasn’t all that fantastical.
Montaigne’s views on the education of children were opposed to the common educational practices of his day.  :63 :67 He found fault with both what was taught and how it was taught.  :62 Much of the education during Montaigne’s time was focused on the reading of the classics and learning through books.  :67 Montaigne disagreed with learning strictly through books. He believed it was necessary to educate children in a variety of ways. He also disagreed with the way information was being presented to students. It was being presented in a way that encouraged students to take the information that was taught to them as absolute truth. Students were denied the chance to question the information. Therefore, students could not truly learn. Montaigne believed that to truly learn, a student had to take the information and make it their own.