Discuss Voltaire's Writing Of "The Candide"

863 words - 3 pages

Hope Floats without CorruptionThe thesis of this paper is that organized religion is corrupt and through El Dorado only hope can be achieved. This is story Voltaire uses examples form the Catholic Church, other religious clergy to get the point across that any type of religion is corrupt. In addition the only means of hope is El Dorado.The Catholic Church during this era was supposed to give people hope by prayer and belief in true religion. The author focuses on how corrupt the Catholic Church was. Church priests and clergy, instead of teaching the word of god and living by it, are nothing but fake shadows in their beliefs and religion. A great example of this corruption is authorities burning heretics alive because they don't believe in Catholicism. Voltaire's sharpest criticism was directed at the Catholic Church. His relationship with the Church "was one of uninterrupted hostility" (Ch2), and in "Candide", he attacks all aspects of its social structure and doctrines. Another example of Catholic corruption is when Pangloss explains how he contracted syphilis, he states that Paquette, "received this present from a very learned Franciscan monk...who owed it to a marquise...who caught it from a Jesuit" (Ch5). This passage illustrates the lack of celibacy of respectable Church members. This contradicts what the church members believe. Voltaire makes several mentions of Catholic officials who should have been celibate but hypocritically kept mistresses," Not only did Voltaire show us that during this era the Catholic Church was corrupt, but he also shows us that every other religion has just as much corruption as Catholicism. Candide referred to non-Christians - most importantly, to Jews and Muslims that corruption existed within their Church's walls as well. Cunegonde's master, is described as a "hot-tempered...Jew...who had a passionate taste for women" (Ch 8). Voltaire shows other corruption of the Catholic clergy in several other instances, such as through the Grand Inquisitor who ironically has a mistress, Cunegonde. In Chapter Ten, Cunegonde's jewels are stolen by, "a venerable Franciscan who slept at the same inn with us" (Ch10), although Franciscans take a vow of poverty. This example leans away from sexual tension in the Church and more towards economical issues. Voltaire also shows us the corruption of the Jesuits through Cacambo, who is talking about Paraguay (Ch14.) "The government of the Padres...is marvelous. The Padres have everything, the people nothing. It's a masterpiece of reason and justice." Voltaire v viewed the Church as,...

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