Literary Criticism Of Candide

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Autobiographer, essayist, playwright, poet, satirist, Enlightenment writer and philosopher – these are just a few of the hats worn by French born François-Marie Arouet, more famously known by the adopted pen name Voltaire. Beyond his written work Voltaire was an outspoken advocate for the freedom of religion, expression, and the separation of church and state. He used his versatile literary work as a tool to criticize the Catholic Church and overall intolerant French society. Voltaire’s cynical writing reached its highest potential in his rapid-fire satire Candide, or Optimism. In the novella, Voltaire told the story of Candide – a young man on a quest for happiness and spiritual fulfillment who encountered tragic setbacks that eventually led to bitter disillusionment. The purpose of Candide was to mock philosophers of the…show more content…
She came from modest nobility and ended up cooking and cleaning for all the men who owned her, completing “menial tasks that a romance heroine would never undertake” (Lynch 42). The status of her virginity demonized her. Romantic heroine’s insides are often reflected on the outside. They are beautiful because of their virtue, so “Cunegonde’s ugliness [suggested] her lack of it.” (Lynch 43). Even though her virginity was forcefully taken, she suffered the consequences of being a loose woman. She was bought and sold into slavery. The skills she learned were tools for survival. Besides using her body, she was able to take care of a home. It was unfortunate because becoming a cook “[seemed] to redeem her ugliness somewhat” (Betts 287). Voltaire was commenting on the limits options for women in the eighteenth century. They could either be a wife or mistress. Cunegonde had to perform both roles with just her optimism to keep her going; ““it seems justifiable to say that her final destiny as the supplier of appetizing food parallels her ability to arouse sexual appetite” (Betts

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