“Religion, Politics and Morals”
How did Voltaire exploit the pre-modern era through mockery and criticism of 18th century society?
Voltaire’s Candide can be understood in several ways by its audience. At a first glance it would appear to be simply a story blessed with outrageous creativity, but if you look deeper in to the novel, a more complicated and meaningful message is buried within. Voltaire uses the adventures of Candide as a representation of what he personally feels is wrong within in society. Written in the 18th century (1759), known commonly as the age of enlightenment, Voltaire forces his audience to consider the shift from tradition to freedom within society. He achieves this by exploring the reality of human suffering due to traditions which he mocks throughout Candide. In particular he focused on exploiting the corruption he felt was strongly and wrongfully present within three main aspects of society these being religion, politics and morals. Each chapter represents different ways in which Voltaire believes corruption exists providing the audience with the reality of society’s problems due to its fixation on tradition. As a philosopher of the Enlightenment, Voltaire advocated for freedom of religion, freedom of expression and the separation between church and state. Voltaire successfully presents these ideas within Candide by highlighting why they are a significant problem in 18th century Europe.
Each chapter of Candide is a part of the story which Voltaire carefully expresses his concerns and criticism of 18th century society. Chapter 11 “The History of the old women” in particular criticises the pre-modern era in regards to religion. The enlightenment period called for freedom of religion from many philosophers ...
... middle of paper ...
...where he saw a gallery two thousand feet long, filled with the various apparatus in mathematics and natural philosophy.” (Candide, Chapter 18). This shows how Voltaire as enlightenment philosopher believed a movement needed to be made away from tradition and towards science for society to progress and all that is wrong can be corrected. El Dorado possesses aspects of a society Voltaire would like to see in the near future.
Overall Voltaire is successful in promoting his ideas and beliefs. It is clear he wants to see a drastic change in religion, politics and morals in the pre-modern period. Throughout his novel Candide he is able to criticise society with a light hearted mockery but also with a seriousness using extreme examples to address his points and concerns. It is arguable that his ambitions were far too high at a time of hope and debate in the 18th century.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Confused Males of Montesquieu’s Persian Letters, Voltaire’s Candide, Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, and Rousseau’s First and Second Discourses “Now my father was then holding one of his second beds of justice, and was musing within himself about the hardships of matrimony, as my mother broke silence.— —My brother Toby, quoth she, is going to be married to Mrs. Wadman.” —Then he will never, quoth my father, be able to lie diagonally in his bed again as long as he lives.” (Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy) The eighteenth century, what a magnificent time—a contemporary critic is likely to exclaim, and indeed it was.... [tags: Candide]
2498 words (7.1 pages)
- Voltaire “Candide or Optimism” was written in the enlightenment era. Voltaire story is published in The Norton Anthology of Western Literature. Voltaire’s character, Pangolss, is a philosopher who teaches about God morals. Pangolss is also a mentor to Candide, who is the main character of the novel. Candide has a good heart but is also feel s very hopeless in life. Pangloss takes Candide under his wing and teaches him that “best of all possible worlds.” The enlightenment movement is seen closely in Voltaire writing style on page 378.... [tags: voltaire, enlightment era, candide]
1336 words (3.8 pages)
- In Voltaire’s Candide, we are taken by the hand through an adventure which spanned two continents, several countries, and to a multitude of adverse characters. The protagonist, Candide, became the recipient of the horrors which would be faced by any person in the 18th century. But Candide was always accompanied with fellows sufferers, two of which our focus will lay, Pangloss and Martin. In equal respects, both are embodiments of different philosophies of the time: Pangloss the proponent of Optimism and Martin the proponent of Pessimism.... [tags: Voltaire, Candide]
1176 words (3.4 pages)
- Voltaire's Candide: The Transformation of Candide Candide (1991), which is another version of "Voltaire" by French writer Francois-Marie Arouet, is a short but diverse story that tells of a young man's journey for love and the hardships he faces all the while keeping a very strong, positive and philosophical outlook on life. The book starts in an unknown year, hinted sometime around the Renaissance, with a young man named Candide. Candide loves the princess of a Baron and is banished from the land because of it.... [tags: Voltaire Candide Essays]
1089 words (3.1 pages)
- Rising Above a Corrupt World in Voltaire's Candide Society can be, and is, corrupt in many different ways. Within our lives we are subject, but not limited to, corruptions within religion, corruptions of morals, and corruption within the government. Voltaire, the author of Candide, uses a naïve protagonist to illustrate his view of the world. Candide, surrounded by a corrupt society, and bombarded by various character defining events, is able to come to a higher understanding as to his philosophy of life.... [tags: Candide Voltaire Corruption Essays]
1569 words (4.5 pages)
- Voltaire's Candide Voltaire uses many writing techniques, which are similar to that of the works of Cervantes, Alighieri, Rabelais and Moliere. The use of the various styles shows that, despite the passing of centuries and the language change, certain writing techniques will always be effective. One common literary technique is the author's use of one or more of his characters as his own voice to speak out the authors own views on certain subjects. For instance, in Moliere's Tartuffe, the author uses the character of Cleante to speak out against religious hypocrites: "Nothing that I more cherish and admire than honest zeal and true religious fire.... [tags: Voltaire Candide ]
1186 words (3.4 pages)
- Voltaire's Candide Voltaire, whose real name was Francois Marie Arouet, was a man whose cynical style of writing brought attention upon himself, both in the positive aspect and in the negative. Francois associated himself with a group of politically power-hungry people who held a frantic hatred against the duke of Orleans. He was wrongly believed to have printed two libelous poems that defaced the duke and due to the false accusation he was imprisoned in the Bastille.... [tags: Voltaire Candide]
1025 words (2.9 pages)
- Voltaires's Candide In Voltaires?s Candide, the main character, Candide, fails to live happily because he is looking outside of himself and his circumstances to do it. Voltaire says through Candide's ultimate discovery that happiness in many ways depends on a person's attitude. Voltaire's philosophy expressed through Candide's final realization is that "We must cultivate our garden," which is the key to happiness(p.585). By cultivating our garden, Voltaire means that we must make the best of our situation in the present moment.... [tags: Voltaire Candide Essays]
1143 words (3.3 pages)
- Voltaire's Candide Throughout the novel, Candide, Voltaire repeatedly exploits the nature of humans to consider other's situations and lifestyles to be better than that of their own. Voltaire uses Candide's journeys to portray the human assumption that the grass is always greener on the other side. This theme is shown in Candide's strife for companionship, his experience with wealth, and his interaction with other characters. The situations that develop the theme do so in such a way that the reader is able to understand and relate to the aspirations of Candide.... [tags: Voltaire Candide Essays]
826 words (2.4 pages)
- Voltaire's Candide Voltaire’s masterpiece has been read delightfully and with much interest by many people since its scarcely secret publication in Geneva and Paris (1759). When it was first published, there were about twenty copies, most of which were pirated. When Voltaire died (1778) there were already more than fifty, and later on it became the best seller of the eighteenth century. It is true that the local conditions have changed since Candide was written. English admirals are not shot any more as a lesson in military perseverance.... [tags: Voltaire Candide Literature History Essays]
3530 words (10.1 pages)