Satire In Candide Essay

1112 words - 4 pages

A satire is a work that attacks the vices and follies of humankind. The novel, Candide, written by Voltaire, is about the journey of a man, Candide, through Europe and Africa, and the many satirical events, which pursue him. Because of the many and unexpected resurrections which take place throughout the novel, it is clear that Voltaire is satirizing the belief of resurrections, which relates to the Catholic/ Christian religion. Also, Voltaire satirizes organized religion through the many corrupt religious leaders who appear throughout the novel. Finally, Voltaire openly satirizes the optimistic beliefs of Enlightenment thinkers, most notable Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz. Because of the hysterical outcomes of many events in the novel, it is evident that Voltaire is satirizing many European mores.Because of the many and various people that are reborn from the dead, Voltaire is clearly satirizing the belief of resurrections. Candide, who had been told that his deer Cunegonde was dead, was rejoined with her and realized that although she had been split open and ravished, "these two accidents do not always prove mortal" (30). Because Pangloss had told him that Cunegonde had been split opened and killed, Candide, all this time, had thought that his love was dead. However, after she had been open, she was healed and sold as slave. Because of the sudden resurrection of Cunegonde, this meeting makes an almost hysterical situation. While on a Turkish ship, Candide discovers that Cunegonde's brother, the Baron, had not been killed, but had "been cured of the wound [Candide] gave [him]" (120). Prior to their meet on the ship, Candide had sliced through the Baron's body with his sword, and was sure that it was a fatal wound. This resurrection creates another hysterical moment, 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 resurrections, which occur throughout the novel, it is evident that Voltaire is satirizing the belief in resurrections, which relates to the Catholic/ Christian religion.Voltaire satirizes organized religion by means of a series of corrupt, hypocritical religious leaders who appear throughout the novel. Upon arriving in France, Candide becomes acquainted with the Abbe of Perigord, a Franciscan religious leader, who turns out "[to be] a cheat" in order to steal some of Candide's diamonds (95). The Abbe informs Candide that Cunegonde is in France and is very sick, however, the woman who Candide meets is just an imposter who steals his diamonds. Even though the Abbe is a Franciscan friar who has taken the vow of poverty, as all members of the...

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