The Importance Of Anabaptism In Voltaire's Candide

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Voltaire was one of the most influential philosophers and writers of the Enlightenment, and one of his most famous works is, Candide. Candide was written in 1759 as a work of satire that attacked society and represented Enlightenment ideas. Although Voltaire became very famous through his philosophic works, he was unpopular with some monarchs, and was even exiled from several places for attacking rulers. Voltaire uses this work mainly to attack European society through corrupt rulers and how they abused their power, how useless religious prejudices are, and how corrupt the Catholic Church was. Good thesis. Your background could have been a little stronger and could have flowed better. Voltaire attacks society in Candide by showing the political …show more content…
During this period in history, Anabaptists were generally looked down upon, but Voltaire makes the most helpful and kind character in Candide an Anabaptist to show how useless the religious prejudices are. When Jacques the Anabaptist first appears in Candide, he immediately starts to help. “The orator`s wife thrust her head out of the window and seeing a man who did not believe that the Pope was AntiChrist, she poured on his head a full… O Heavens! … A man who had not been baptized, an honest Anabaptist named Jacques, saw the cruel and ignominious treatment of one of his brothers… he took him home, cleaned him up, gave him bread and beer, presented him with two florins, and even offered to teach him to work” (235). Candide had asked a Protestant for food, but they refused because Candide would not call the Pope the Antichrist, and despite not many people liking the Anabaptists, Jacques helped, fed, and was kind to Candide even though Jacques did not know him. Jacques also exhibited many acts of kindness throughout Candide. “The Anabaptist tried to help the crew a little… He remained hanging and clinging to part of the broken mast. The good Jacques ran to his aid, helped him climb back, and from the effort he made was flung into the sea in full view of the sailor” (240). Voltaire used Jacques the Anabaptist to show how useless religious prejudices are by making him …show more content…
Voltaire`s first attack is shown when Pangloss and three others were burned for reasons like not eating bacon. “It was decided by the university of Coimbre that the sight of several persons being slowly burned in great ceremony is an infallible secret for preventing earthquakes” (242). The story of the old woman shows the most abuses of the Church. “I am the daughter of Pope Urban X and the Princess of Palestrina. Until I was fourteen I was brought up in a palace to which all the castles of your German Barons would not have served as stables; and one of my dresses cost more than all the magnificence of Westphalia” (253). The old woman reveals that she was the daughter of Pope Urban X which shows the first abuse because the Pope is meant to stay abstinent throughout his life. The old woman also says how she lived extravagantly for the first part of her life which shows how the Church wasted money on things like large palaces and fancy dresses. Voltaire also used Eldorado to show the benefits of a simple religion unlike the flashiness of the Catholic Church. “Finally Candide who was always interested in metaphysics, asked though Cacambo whether the country has a religion. The old man blushed a little. ‘How can you doubt it?’ said he… Cacambo humbly asked what was the religion of Eldorado. The old man blushed again. ‘Can there be two religions?’ said he. ‘We

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