Oppression Of The Church In Candide, By Voltaire

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Voltaire’s novella Candide, thoroughly satirizes many aspects of society in 1700s Europe, but one of the more significant ideals that Voltaire satirizes is the church. Written in 1759, his novella was produced during the age of Enlightenment. This historical era greatly impacted the events and what was satirized in the the novella Candide. The Enlightenment was also the time period where the authority of the church was most questioned. During the 1700s the most popular religious systems were Christianity and Catholisism, and any other forms of religion were not tolerated. The thought of preists being sexually active was unspeakable and homosexuality was even worse, although it did occur within the church at times and Voltaire satirizes this hypocrisy in his work. Throughout the novella the protagonist Candide constantly has run-ins with the church,…show more content…
Religious oppression is when different religions other than the norm are not tolerated and those who don’t follow the common religions are looked down upon. This can be seen throughout the work. After Candide escaped the Bulgar army he reached Holland, where he was sure he would be treated kindly by all the Christians, but was dissapointed. “He approached a man who had just been adressing a big audience for a whole hour on the subject of charity. The orator peered at him and said:… ‘Do you believe that the Pope is Antichrist, my friend?’ said the minister. ‘I have never heard anyone say so,’ replied Candide; ‘but whether he is or isn’t, I want some food.’ ‘You don’t deserve to eat,’ said the other. ‘Be off with you, you villain, you wretch! Don’t come near me again or you’ll suffer for it.’” (26-27) This quote is significant because Candide was poor, starved and all he wanted was some food, but because he didn’t follow Christianity he was labeled a “villain”, an object of disgust. This is a clear sign of religious intolerance that Voltaire has heavily

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