Voltaire's Candide: Literary Critique

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Candide by Voltaire: Literary Critique Let me start off by saying that I completely enjoy satires; it is the I appreciate and relate to most for its incorporation of sarcasm and contending irony. As I sift through the satire Candide by Voltaire I was charmed by its display of insanely ruthless situations that dramatized the many evils of human experience. I think Voltaire admirably constructs this particular satire through his assortment of themes and symbolisms. Quickly and beyond a doubt, Voltaire takes the reader through an assorted matter of episodes of acute savagery that prove both horrible and distinctly comical. Like other satires, this story has many themes linked by one central thoughtful point crisscrossing the entire…show more content…
Doctor Pangloss, a follower of Leibniz, attempts to use deduction to explain the existence of evil, siding with such beliefs to the point of silliness, justifying all events through a cause-and-effect analogy. One example is when he argues that "things cannot be otherwise than they are, for since everything is made to serve an end, everything necessarily serves the best end. Observe: our noses were made to support spectacles, hence we have spectacles." All of his philosophies are overdue with imperfect logic, portraying him as a well-educated fool. Voltaire scrutinizes Pangloss’s values with firm examples of human cruelty and natural disasters that apparently defy all explanation. An example of this is when the narrator infers that the Baron is mighty because his castle has a door and some windows; the Baroness is beloved because she weighs three hundred and fifty pounds. In chapter four Candide naively speculates that venereal disease, Pangloss tells Candide that it has made "marvelous progress" in Europe, particularly among soldiers, not unlike those who raped and killed Cunegonde, who he calls "honest", and "well-bred". Candide replies that this is…show more content…
This is executed virtually from the first chapter to the last, Voltaire depicts religious men (priests, monks, etc) as hypocrites who don't live up to the life and doctrine they proclaim to believe. Almost vehemently, Voltaire makes the Church out to be one unscrupulous, violent-ridden establishments on the planet. This is seen both during the Inquisition scene towards the middle of the book as well as the Jesuit satire seen while Candide and Cacambo are in Paraguay. Examples of hypocrisy are inescapable in plenty of chapters, like in chapter three where the orator tells Candide he deserves to starve because Candide does not know whether the Pope is the Antichrist. Just before, the orator had been preaching to the crowd about the goodness of charity. The alleged integrity of churchmen is challenged in chapter ten where a reverend Franciscan father steals money from Cunegonde, while a Benedictine friar swindles a trio out of a good horse. The highlighted philosophy disclose the debates over Christianity in the eighteenth century, where thinkers were touching more reason-based rationale and farther from religious charge. Voltaire consolidates all of his satires into one, larger message-that the human world is utterly disutopian. All examples of utopia which Voltaire raises up and then slams down in his work demonstrate such a loss of

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