Examples Of Satire In Candide

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Voltaire was an educated writer from Paris who had the displeasure of experiencing the decay of society during the Reformation era to the 1700’s Enlightenment period. He was nauseated with all the social structures. Not to mention, the delusional optimism that plagued the explanations for people’s suffering that was happening in his lifetime.. By analyzing chapters in his book Candide, I will show how Volaire brilliantly uses satire of his character’s experiences and mindsets to ridicule and bring attention to the perverse nature of wealth, snobbery, military service, religion, as well as, delusional optimism that overshadowed the European society of his day.
Wealth is one of the major themes of Candide. In European society, wealth was sought
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Leibniz, and his followers took the rigid definition metaphysics of cause and effect and theology to argue that it was all part of a perfect God’s plan for people to experience suffering. The pinnacle example of this type of philosophy comes after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake that killed fifty thousand people. It is said that these philosophers, claimed that all was for the best in God’s perfect plan. “The heirs of the dead would now come into their into their fortunes, masons would grow rich in rebuilding the city, beasts would grow fat on the corpses buried in the ruins; such is the natural effect of natural causes (Voltaire p. 9). This quote sums up the attitude that was pushed on people that there was no evil in the world, only cause and effect to a greater good. Part of this attitude that was used to justify people in power, such as kings and clergy to persecute and cause suffering to people that looked to leaders for guidance. Voltaire’s response to this attitude is to create a fictional character named Dr. Pangloss, who is said to be a wise with all the answers. Pangloss uses the phrase “there is no effect without a cause, and this is the best of all worlds and could not be otherwise (Voltaire p. 20). Throughout the book, Candide and his companions experience misery, but Pangloss’s best of all worlds philosophy is used to explain the reason it has occurred. Going back to chapter three, Candide has been driven from his beloved, beaten from an inch of his life by the Bulgaria soldiers, and now forced to beg for bread from the Protestant preacher. Candide still returns to Pangloss’s philosophy that it was meant to be. The cause and effect philosophy of the delusional

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