"Candide" By Voltaire. Essay

1322 words - 5 pages

Published in 1759, Voltaire's Candide is a book tied into the reality of the time it was written; it camouflages Voltaire's frustration of the time. Candide is a book meant to explore the ideas of enlightenment, and how people of that time would use reason in place of faith (Catherine Lavender Par. 1).Voltaire was born François-Marie Arouet to a middle class family in Paris on November 21, 1694. However, there is confusion as to whether that is his real birth date, because he said that it really occurred on February 20, 1694. He did not love François Arouet, his alleged father, a onetime attorney, or his older brother Armand. He had always believed, however, that officer Rochebrune was his real father, who was also a songwriter. Due to the fact that he lost his mother at the age of seven, not much was said about her. And since his mother died, he seems to have become an untimely rebel of family authority. Instead, he became close to his godfather, the Abbé de Châteauneuf, who was an epicurean and an individualist. (Kren-Marx Par. 2)Voltaire attended the Jesuit college of Louis-le-Grand in Paris. The religious instruction of the fathers there provoked his cynicism and disdain for the school, even though he valued the classical understanding the college taught him. However, it was there that he learned to love literature, social life, and the theatre. After he left college, he decided against the study of law. He became lovesick with the daughter of an adventurer while employed as secretary at the French embassy in The Hague. Voltaire wanted to devote himself wholly to literature, despite his father's wishes, and he often went to the Temple, then the center of freethinking (enlightened) society. Voltaire became the intelligence of Parisian society after the death of Louis XIV. He was banished from Paris and then imprisoned in the Bastille for almost one year, after he mocked the dissolute regent, the Duc d'Orléans. Behind his blissful pretense, he was deeply serious and set out to learn the conventional storybook forms. In 1718, he was acclaimed as the successor of the great classical dramatist Jean Racine and therefore adopted the name of Voltaire. He wrote a classic poem with Henry IV. His colleagues saw only the charitable ideal of lenience that stimulated the poem. These triumphs earned the warm approval of the young queen, Marie, and a pension. As a result, he launched his career as court poet. (Kren-Marx Par. 3-7)After being banished to England in 1726 for 2 years he returned to France and decided to present England as a model to his compatriots. His social position was, from there on, strengthened. He wrote Brutus in 1730, which was barely a success; La mort de César, 1735, played only in college; the vision of a ghost in Eriphyle was all but applauded by the audience, Zaïre, however, fascinated the public with its foreign subject, and was a resonant triumph. (Kren-Marx Par. 8)After an astounding...

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