Corruption In Voltaire's Candide

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During the time of the 1750s, in European history, corruption in society’s central values was clearly visible throughout society. In the novel Candide written Voltaire, the author satirizes characters because of their oblivion to the chaos occurring. Philosophy, religion, and wealth, are used ironically to represent flaws in society. The absurdity of the philosophers beliefs about life, show them to be blind and completely out of touch with reality. A main philosopher in the novel, known as Dr. Pangloss, possesses an inaccurate view on life that oddly contradicts the events he encounters. Dr. Pangloss believes that everything in the world happens for a reason and a better state is always to come, but ironically his disasterous situations lead…show more content…
Dr. Pangloss displays utter obscurity when dismissing the idea that he is contaminated with a deadly disease and that a cure is not necessary. Without the help of Candide providing Dr. Pangloss with medical assistance, Pangloss’s flawed philosophy would lead him to death. When a ship was dramatically destroyed by the furious seas, Candide immediately was willing to leap into the water to rescue his drowning benefactor, “but was prevented by the philosopher Pangloss, who demonstrated to him that the Bay of Lisbon had been made on purpose for the Anabaptist to be drowned”(21). Pangloss distracts Candide from saving the benefactor, causing a preventable death and demise of…show more content…
When Candide is enduring near starvation, the protestant minister preaches about charity only to decline candide food because of insignificance to religion by declaring, “thou does not deserve to eat… begone, rogue, begone, wretch; do not come near me again”(14). The priest chooses to oppose his sermon by treating Candide with less respect because of his religious indifference. The character is ironically shown as the opposite of a spiritual individual by executing actions that disobey the word of god. The Catholic inquisitor and the Franciscan Friar are two other characters that contradict their religious teachings and prove European’s religion to be corrupt. The inquisitor’s religion forbids him to have a mistress, but ironically he keeps one and sexually harasses Cunegonde. This hypocrisy is another attack towards an unethical religion. The Franciscan Friar commits the sin of theft when stealing Cunegonde's wealth when he is sworn to a life of poverty. The auto-de-fee is a major device of catastrophe, ending many people’s lives to try and make Europe more faithful when truly it is a vivid sign of disaster in religion. Through religious characters and their conduct towards society, Voltaire is criticizing such a harmful religion and revealing that a simpler faith could be the

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