Essay about Use of Satire in Voltaire's Candide

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Successful Use of Satire in Voltaire's Candide Voltaire's Candide is the story of how one man's adventures affect his philosophy on life. Candide begins his journey full of optimism that he lives in "the best of all possible worlds," but he learns that it is naïve to say that good will eventually come of any evil. Voltaire successfully uses satire as a means of conveying his opinions about many aspects of European society in the eighteenth century. He criticizes religion, the evils found in every level of society, and a philosophy of optimism when faced with an intolerable world. Candide portrays religious persecution as one of the most worst aspects of society. Voltaire rejects the superstitious beliefs that the church…show more content…
Christianity teaches that we are all God's children, but the Negro is a slave to a cruel master that has cut off his arm and leg. The old woman tells Candide a story of a supposed holy man that convinces the Janizaries not to kill the women for food, but only to slice off one of their buttocks to eat. This "pious and compassionate" Moslem priest convinced them that "heaven will be pleased by such a charitable action" (Voltaire 48). Voltaire attacks the corruption within the church and its officials as well. The Grand Inquisitor, a significant clergyman, makes Cunegonde his mistress at a Mass service. Even more ironic is that he shares her with a Jew. It was a Franciscan priest that robbed Lady Cunegonde of her money and jewels. The old woman identifies herself as the bastard daughter of a pope, and the papacy is also identified as keeping soldiers for private use. When Candide is ill in France, a clergyman is one of the many that harasses him in attempt on his wealth. Ironically, the disease that Pangloss catches from Paquette, originated from a Franciscan priest. Voltaire portrays the church as violent and corrupt and the clergy as parsimonious fortune hunters. Candide also discovers evils in every level of society. Voltaire criticizes the inordinate pride of
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