Satirical Irony In Voltaire's Candide

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When you search to define the word garden, its definition emerges only as an area of ground where plants (such as flowers and vegetables) are grown according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. However, to Enlightenment writer and French philosophe Francois-Mari Arouet, a garden represents much more than just that. Going by his pen name Voltaire, Francois uses a manifold of symbols such as the garden throughout his satirical novel Candide. This novel express Voltaire’s wit by frequently exploiting the nature of humans to examine others’ circumstances and lifestyles to be better than that of their own. Although Candide is a satirical irony throughout, Voltaire discloses one of his beliefs through his protagonist character near the end that one …show more content…
The first garden Voltaire discusses is Westphalia, which he sets up as an illusion. “The Baron was one of the most powerful lords in Westphalia, for his castle had a door and windows,” (1). Here Voltaire is undercutting the value of Westphalia since usually a castle has a does not have a door and windows. Voltaire uses another parody not long after when Candide was forced to leave Westphalia. This represents the biblical fall of man from the Garden of Eden since Candide was brought up in a fine castle and was driven out of it just like Adam. Another garden that Voltaire relates to is the paradise of Eldorado. “Here now, said Candide, is a country that’s better than Westphalia,” (33). Voltaire describes the utopian society where the pebbles on the ground are rubies and the dirt is gold, which is what greedy Europeans would kill for. “Please excuse our laughing when you offered us in payment a couple of pebbles from the roadside,” (35). Ethnocentric Candide and Cacambo are astonished after a meal with the merchants of Eldorado at the thought of the jewels being worthless in their eyes. Candide and Cacambo soon discover many other outstanding features of El Dorado that are absent from European civilization such as education for all people and embracing the king. Both El Dorado and Westphalia are described as paradise by Voltaire in the beginning when they are both introduced in the novel. However, Candide left each paradise for different reasons and ended up in the Garden of Constantinople, where he eventually found and led the most agreeable life

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