Methods Of Satire Used In "Candide", "Animal Farm", "Hard Times"

1694 words - 7 pages

Satire is defined as a literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision, or wit. Voltaire, George Orwell and Charles Dickens used satire to provide a humorous perspective to the social, political and ideological views of their times. Candide by Voltaire, Animal Farm by George Orwell, and Hard Times by Charles Dickens are very successful in using satire to show the flaws of each era's current views. Voltaire, Orwell, and Dickens use different forms of satire to make their points. Voltaire and Dickens are very extreme with their depiction of satire, while Orwell uses a fable to soften his view. These three authors do a great job of using themes, characters, and style to satirically show the grey areas of their era.In the novel Candide, Voltaire cleverly uses the main components of satire. His method of using satire to critique both political and religious ideologies are extreme however quite successful in portraying flaws. Voltaire pointed out the folly in philosophical religion and optimism in his book Candide. He showed that religion and philosophical optimism are pointless.Candide is the story of a young man's life adventures throughout the world, where he is subjected to evil and disaster. Pangloss, a mentor to Candide, teaches him that all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. Voltaire did not believe that what happens in the world is always for the best. Voltaire shows us the inhumanities of man through social interaction and war. He over exaggerates the wrongs of medieval people. His thoughts are exaggerated but valid.Voltaire showed many original ideas in his novel. He confronted major philosophical issues by camouflaging them with humour. The attack on the claim that this is "the best of all possible worlds" is exhibited throughout the novel. Throughout the story, satirical references to this theme contrast with natural disaster and human wrong doing. When reunited with the diseased and dying Pangloss, who had contracted syphilis, Candide asks if the Devil is at fault. Pangloss simply responds that the disease was a necessity in this 'the best of all possible worlds', for it was brought to Europe by Columbus' men, who also brought chocolate and cochineal, two greater goods that well offset any negative effects of the disease, Candide experiences numerous disasters through out the novel which leads him to question his belief in optimism. When asked what's optimism by Cacambo, Candide replies, is a mania for saying things are well when one is in hell. Candide eventually becomes aware of the hopelessness of Pangloss' philosophy. Voltaire ends the novel with Candide discovering the Turk's truth to life - ...the work keeps us from three great evils, boredom, vice and need. Candide and his acquaintances adapt this new way of life. Even when the entire group has accepted the rustic lifestyle of finding contentment, Pangloss the Optimist attempts to prove how all their prior misfortunes were...

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