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Sarcasm About Religion In Voltaire´S Candide

1076 words - 4 pages

Religion has always been something that has been argued for centuries long ago. Voltaire has never been afraid to clearly speak his opinions on how he sees religion really is. Many have argued whether religion is actual belief or just a lot of hypocrisy from religion towards the world. The way Voltaire portrays religion in Candide it is some belief but mostly hypocrisy due to the secrets being held and all of the lies being told. He was never a big fan of religion and he satires it a lot and reveals what some religion really does. What Voltaire says is that religion seems fair but it is deep within lies that they do not follow their own rules and he addresses that by showing the many examples when they do something they should not do. Voltaire shows it with sarcasm and he uses wit as well seeing if the reader can notice how it would be ironic for religion to be portrayed in that manner.
Throughout the whole book most of the religious people have many things to hide or they either have done things that go against what religion is taught to be. "Oh, my dear Candide, you remember Paquette… in her arms I tasted the delights of paradise, which produced in me those hell torments with which you see me devoured; she was infected with them…who had received it from a Jesuit.” It seems that Pangloss got an STD from Paquette who got it from a religious Jesuit who supposedly took a vow of celibacy to remain holy as well. Voltaire’s view of this here with this satire is that the actions that these men did were dishonorable and these practices were pretty common in their time. This sexual satire occurs many more times with Cunegonde for example and her moment as a slave. “ My Jew, intimidated, concluded a bargain, by which the house and myself should belong to both in common; the Jew should have for himself Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, and the Inquisitor should have the rest of the week.” they talked this over at a mass which shows the irony in the conversation. There is also another moment where religion is shown to have secret sexual encounters and that is with the old women and Pope Urban X. “I am the daughter of Pope Urban X, and of the Princess of Palestrina.” This shows how religion is being mocked because this supposedly “holy man” has lied and not kept his promise as well. The Pope being a symbol in catholic religion is supposed to be the holiest chosen one by God but these “religious men” just make a mockery of their religion.
In some cases Voltaire shows religion as belief as well especially when he introduces the Anabaptist James. “A man who had never been christened, a good Anabaptist, named James…he took him home, cleaned him, gave him bread and beer, presented him with two florins, and even wished to teach him the manufacture of Persian stuffs which they make in Holland.” The Anabaptist offers Candide help without taking note of Candide’s religious point of view or who he is, this shows how generous he is only believing in his faith and...

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