Voltaire's Use Of Colonization And Savagery

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Colonization and Savagery in Candide During the time of the Enlightenment, Rousseau’s philosophies on civilization and its ills on humanity helped propagate and popularize the Noble Savage.” The noble savage was the belief that since non-Europeans were not as exposed to European civilization and “progression”, they better people (Backman 2013). Voltaire, despite his intense rivalry with Rousseau, seems to believe in something similar if not, the exact same thing. The chapters of Candide that are involved with the fictionalized New World are more preoccupied with depicting and satirizing the ills of colonization and the colonizers rather than the native people so it looks to be that Candide is a reflection and exploration on the trope of the noble savage and a rejection of the encroachment of European colonialism on these foreign lands. Initially, Voltaire’s characterizations of the New World natives are not very different from the common depictions of bestial cannibal tribes that were being produced by European presses during the age of exploration. The girls having relations with the monkeys, and Candide and Cacambo almost being eaten is very much in line with those old depictions but when Cacambo tries to reason…show more content…
Aside from the Anabaptist, Cacambo is the only truly good character in the entire book and he is the only one of the two that survives until the end. His upbringing in Tucuman, Peru [Cacambo went up to the door and heard they were talking Peruvian; it was his mother tongue, for it is well known that Cacambo was born in Tucuman, in a village where no other language was spoken. (Voltaire 1759)] can be seen as the source of his goodness especially placed in comparison to Cunegonde’s old woman who has a similar service role to Cacambo, but by virtue of her being born Italian is not as good as Cacambo, if she can even be considered good at

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