This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Essay On Satire In Voltaire's Candide

638 words - 3 pages

Use of Satire in Voltaire’s Candide        

   Voltaire successfully uses satire as a means of conveying his opinions about life.  In his novel, Candide, Voltaire satirizes the philosopher Liebnitz's philosophy that this is the best of all possible worlds.  In the novel, the perpetually optimistic and naive character, Candide, travels around the world, having various experiences that prove, at least to the reader, that evil does exist. 

 

In one particular passage, Voltaire uses explicit diction, exaggerated details and manipulated syntax in order to contrast the optimist's romantic view of battle with the horrible reality that is war. Voltaire's grossly exaggerated details give a somewhat comical description of an otherwise horrible event.  "The cannons battered down about six thousand men", and then "the musket-fire removed...about nine or ten thousand" and finally, the bayonet killed "several thousand men or so."  Voltaire's lackluster use of numbers in describing the casualties conveys the soldiers attitude toward human life;  killing is more like a game or competition than a serious and immoral act.  The soldiers dispose of men's lives as if they were worthless, for the purpose of settling a disagreement.  After fighting, the two kings celebrate their respective victories "by having Te Deums sung."  The kings have the audacity to celebrate after commanding their armies to kill innocent people.  They congratulate themselves after the violent bloodbath even though neither side has won.  Later, Candide passes through a town that has been destroyed by the Bulgars "in strict accordance with the laws of war."  Voltaire suggests that the Bulgars burnt the town to the ground only because they were blindly following the laws of war.  The soldiers obey their unfounded orders without giving any consideration to the well-being of innocent people.

 

Voltaire's diction attacks Leibnitz's philosophy that this is the best of all possible worlds;  his words show a stark contrast between the optimist's view of...

Find Another Essay On Essay on Satire in Voltaire's Candide

Movie Essay - A Comparison of Satire in Voltaire's Candide and the Film Lexx

1176 words - 5 pages the now-senile Lexx into destroying the Earth. This is the ship's final shot before it passes on of old age. Satire is nothing new. Things have been wrong in the world since recorded history and there have always, and will always be people to criticize the flaws in the way things work. While satire today is often told differently then that of Voltaire's time, the principle is certainly the same. Works Cited Lexx. Screenplays by Paul Donovan, Lex Gigeroff, and Jeff Hirschfield. Sci-Fi channel. Produced by Salter Street Productions. 1997-2002. Voltaire. Candide. Trans. Lowell Bair. Bantam Books. New York, 1959.

Use of Satire to Attack Optimism in Voltaire's Candide

1491 words - 6 pages Use of Satire to Attack Optimism in Voltaire's Candide     In its time, satire was a powerful tool for political assault on Europe's corrupt and deteriorating society. Voltaire's Candide uses satire to vibrantly and sarcastically portray optimism, a philosophical view from the Enlightenment used to bury the horrors of 18th century life: superstition, sexually transmitted diseases, aristocracy, the church, tyrannical rulers, civil and

A Comparison of Satire in Voltaire's Candide and Gulliver's Travels

2248 words - 9 pages provides an extensive example of the many perspectives present and the ideals that are satirized. In each arena Candide's experiences and interaction with others are the breeding ground for Voltaire's satire. In both Candide and Gulliver's Travels this universal satire is made possible by the stories' being travel-tales in which the protagonists are exposed to many different lands and perspectives. As can be seen, child-like naivete can be a

Voltaire's "Candide" and Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels": vehicles for satire

781 words - 3 pages remain oblivious to their situation (on a satiric level, at least).Candide is a humorous tale by Voltaire satirizing the optimism promoted by the philosophers of Enlightenment era. Throughout his travels, Candide adheres to the teachings of his tutor, Pangloss, believing that "all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds." Candide is essentially Voltaire's answer to what he saw as an absurd belief proposed by the so-called "enlightened

Essay on Voltaire's Candide - Voltaire's Opposition to Optimism

1178 words - 5 pages Voltaire’s Opposition to Optimism in Candide Philosophy is a means by which humans search for a general understanding of the world and its concepts. Through experience, thought, and observation, one can arrive at a conclusion that forms the basis of his ideas. However, if one simply thinks and does not act, this conclusion does not make any significant difference on his life. This is a major point that Voltaire tries to make in

Essay on Voltaire's Candide - Fallacy of Optimism Exposed

793 words - 3 pages noble ancestry. Though greatly disappointed with their outcome all but Candide insist on claiming that all is for the best. The complete absurdity that one could go through as much and end up in the place where they end up and still claim that all was for the best furthers Voltaire's belief in the fallacy of systematic optimism.   Works Cited and Consulted: Frautschi, R.L. Barron's Simplified Approach to Voltaire: Candide. New York: Barron's Educational Series, Inc., 1998. Lowers, James K, ed. "Cliff Notes on Voltaire's Candide". Lincoln: Cliff Notes, Inc. 1995. Voltaire. Candide. New York: Viking Publishers, 1996.

Comparing Views on Life in Thoreau’s Walden and Voltaire's Candide

1119 words - 4 pages Comparing Views on Life in Thoreau’s Walden and Voltaire's Candide Is the glass half full or half empty? This clichéd measure of optimism versus pessimism describes our society's base understanding of possible outlooks on life. In Candide by Voltaire, ultimately Candide rejects both blind optimism and absolute pessimism. He goes on a quest to discover how to live well, which is the same thing Thoreau prescribes in Walden and Other Writings

Satire in Candide

1112 words - 4 pages , adding to the satire towards the belief of resurrections. Finally, Candide is rejoined with his friend Pangloss, who, although he had been hanged, was still alive for the " noose did not join," allowing him to breathe (121). After the hanging, a surgeon purchased Panglosses body, thinking he was dead, and upon making an incision, realized he was alive. This unpredictable resurrection adds to the hysteria in the novel. Because of the many strange

Voltaire's Candide as an Attack on Optimism

1325 words - 5 pages Voltaire's Attack on Optimism in Candide      Leibnitz emphasized, in his Discours de Metaphysique (Discourse on Metaphysics) (1686) the role of a benevolent creator. He called the constituent components of the universe monads, and while the philosophy of monads is of little concern to readers of Candide, the conclusion which Leibnitz drew from these monads is crucial to an understanding of optimism.             Leibnitz argued

Analysis of Voltaire's philosophy in Candide

1213 words - 5 pages life experience to have reason to think otherwise. This supports Voltaire's opinion thatJohnson 2knowledge is not based on stories or philosophies, but rather on actions and experience.Voltaire exhibits his belief that life experiences help to gain knowledge through the old woman and her story. In chapters 11 and 12, the old woman explains to Candide and Cunègonde the horrors that she has experienced in her life. Her story helps to shape

The Search for Truth in Voltaire's "Candide"

1467 words - 6 pages Voltaire's "Candide" is a novel which contains conceptual ideas and at the same time is also exaggerated. Voltaire offers sad themes disguised by jokes and witticism, and the story itself presents a distinctive outlook on life. The crucial contrast in the story deals with irrational ideas as taught to Candide about being optimistic, versus reality as viewed by the rest of the world.The main theme which is presented throughout the novel is

Similar Essays

Religious Satire In Voltaire's Candide Essay

961 words - 4 pages finished talking about the importance of charity to an assembly. After Candide tells the orator that he isn't sure whether the Pope is the Antichrist, but that he needs bread, the minister angrily refuses and tells him to "never show your face here again." In the meantime, his wife drops ---- on Candide's head (Candide, Chapter 3, pg. 46-47). Voltaire clearly structured the passage to be especially ironic. The orator represented the Christian

Voltaire's "Candide" Is A Satire On Optimism

998 words - 4 pages CANDIDE--OPTIMISMVoltaire's Candide is a satire on optimism. The time when Candide was written, the intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment was spreading ideas about the equality and basic rights of man and the importance of reason and scientific objectivity. Through Candide, Voltaire expressed the misleading notion of Gottfried William von Leibniz's theory of optimism. Liebniz developed the idea that the world they were living in at

Use Of Satire In Voltaire's Candide

1578 words - 6 pages 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

Satire Of Philosophy In Voltaire's Candide

1160 words - 5 pages "best of all worlds" (Voltaire 10). He is also somewhat naive and believes that he could make the world a better place by spreading his theories on optimism. When Candide had met up with Pangloss after a long period of time, Pangloss said that he was almost hanged, then dissected, then beaten, but he still thought that everything was for the better. No matter how little Pangloss believed in the fact that somehow everything would turn out well, he