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Candide Essay

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The Enlightenment period of the 19th century was a major switch from a center around the Catholic Church to new secular ideas on politics and science, and the works of the writers who lived during this age reflect that. The French philosopher Voltaire, especially, expressed his opinions on society through satire, as in his novella, Candide. He invites his readers to look upon a world in which everything goes wrong and yet, the main character had an abundance of optimism—a contradiction that leads to Voltaire’s commentary in the work on utopias and how to find happiness.
The first piece of Voltaire’s insight that the reader witnesses is Candide’s willingness to follow the philosophy of his cherished childhood mentor, Pangloss, which is a representation of Voltaire’s opinion on those who blindly follow a concept without attempting to question it. Voltaire, in writing it this way, was suggesting that society had gotten into this habit, and it is possible that he was thinking of religion when he wrote it. Voltaire was a Deist, and so he thought of God and science as building upon each o...


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