Theme Of Wealth And Wealth In Candide

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Candide: Class and Wealth

In his novel Candide, Voltaire uses satire to show the folly of wealth and class status. One of the major themes of the novel is how those with wealth and higher social class corrupt and gain power over others. The classes, the poor and the wealthy, are often in conflict with each other, and wealth is often fleeting—gone as fast as it was obtained. Candide, the naïve protagonist of the story, encounters many examples of injustice throughout his journey of love and enlightenment.
Candide peacefully and blissfully lived in the country home of his uncle, a baron, and one can accept that the people living in the home lived with a lavish amount of luxury, due to the amount of time they had to study with Dr. Pangloss,
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Martin is a poor man whose wife pilfered his wealth, son beat him, and church persecuted him, and living a life of poverty caused Martin to develop an ultimate pessimistic worldview, opposite of Pangloss and Candide’s philosophy. His belief was that God had abandoned the world and that the world is inherently evil. When one looks at his desperate life and the treatment given to him by the wealthy, including his family, it would not be difficult to understand how he developed that extreme pessimism.
The wealthy and powerful in Candide often took advantage of those without wealth and power. When Candide was forced from his home, he was drafted in a foreign army and beaten almost to death by those with more power than him. After a massive earthquake, inquisitors of the church beat Candide and sacrificed his master in an offering to prevent future
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Candide was now a part of the wealthiest of peoples. He had money to secure his safety and was able to bribe anyone he needed, but it came at a cost. Candide started to lose faith in his personal philosophy, optimism. People soon started to take advantage of him and slowly took Candide’s money. Moreover, when the pirate, Vanderdendur, stole most of his wealth, he hired Martin, the pessimist, to accompany him. Here, one can see how money caused Candide to lose his happiness, as is the danger of wealth.
Candide shows one the dangers of wealth and the disparity of poverty. The novel shows one how the powerful gain influence over the poor and creates a class system, but given the choice, the protagonist chose to leave a land of perfectness to go back to the lands of said conflicts. In the end, Candide realizes the folly of his decision to leave, and he forgoes all of the silly philosophies of the poor and of the rich. He decides to become a self-sufficient farmer—a way to remove himself from the struggle of wealth and

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