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Use of Satire to Target Religion, Military, and Optimism in Voltaire's Candide

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Use of Satire to Target Religion, Military, and Optimism in Voltaire's Candide

 
In his work, Candide, Voltaire uses satire as a means of conveying his opinions about many aspects of European society in the eighteenth century.  Voltaire successfully criticizes religion, the military, and the philosophy of optimism. 

Religious leaders are the targets of satire throughout Candide. Voltaire portrays the religious clergy as men who use their positions to further their own causes. In addition, the priests keep the less fortunate oppressed, so the clergy members can continue to enjoy extravagant luxuries. Candide discovers the young Baron, whom he thought to be dead, living among the Jesuit Priests of Paraguay. Assuming the native people must be thriving under the protection of these religious/military leaders, Candide believes this to be a most pleasant place to live. However, he soon discovers that the religious leaders are pilfering the resources of the natives. The young Baron is found eating from golden bowls while the native people live in poverty with very little food. Th...


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