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Candide By François Marie Arouet Essay

1210 words - 5 pages

An enlightenment philosopher François-Marie Arouet, commonly known as Voltaire, wrote Candide. Voltaire “was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state (Wikipedia).” He was born November 21st 1694 into an upper-middle class family. Voltaire started showing an interest in writing at a young age. Candide was published in 1579. It was a French Satire. A satire is “the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary ...view middle of the document...

They eventually reencounter some of this lost fortune when a Dutch boat is sunk. Candide sees something bright red swimming near their ship. “It was one of his sheep. There was more joy in Candide at finding this one sheep…(Voltaire, p. 53).” This acts as a parody, or satire, of Christ’s parable of the lost sheep. The finding of this sheep also symbolizes hope for Candide. He perceives this discovery of the sheep as hope that he will be reunited with Cunégonde again just as he was with the sheep. This red sheep is a representation of Candide's last bit of optimism.
Throughout their journey to find Cunégonde, Candide stumbles upon many fake friends. He runs into both dishonest merchants and officials. People are deceitful to Candide due to his riches. This relates to another theme of the book, the theme of money and how its power is corrupting. When Candide amasses a large fortune in Eldorado, it looks as if all of his troubles may be over and he could bribe his way out of any situation he may come across. Instead, he seems less happy as a wealthy man. People take advantage of him because he is willing to spend his money to get where he wants. This is evident when he was trying to get to Venice. The merchant says, “this man parts with twenty thousand piasters as easily as ten (Voltaire, p. 50).” The merchant then came back asking for more money and taking advantage of Candide because he was aware of the fact that Candide had the money to give. He watches his money slowly dwindle down as he gives it to dishonest merchants and officials and his optimism is tested. His money causes at least as many problems as it solves.
Before actually finding Cunégonde, Candide and Martin go many places. They encounter Paquette, who is the woman who gave Pangloss Syphilis, and a monk named Brother Giroflee who is always unhappy and Candide gives them money. Finally, they find Cacambo. Cacambo is not with Cunégonde like they had thought he would be. Candide frees Cacambo, and he takes them to Constantinople, where Cunégonde is. When they arrive in Constantinople, they see Cunégonde, who is now ugly, and the old woman. Yet again, Candide frees them using his money. When Candide lays eyes on the now ugly Cunégonde, he at first does not want to go ahead with marrying her. He then realizes that it is not about what she looks like. It was his true unconditional love that got...

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