The Stairway To Surinam Voltaire Use Of Satire Candide And Pangloss

927 words - 4 pages

Voltaire uses satire throughout his text in many ways. Many of which makes the reader question their morals on life and see a crud humorous episode that is degrading and unjust. Others find satire, such as Voltaire's hysterically funny. His inappropriate life stories of characters are almost predictable as the text continues. One after another, someone is humorously punished for their wrong doings. This humorous satire allows Candide to believe Pangloss' philosophy. But when Candide meets the slave in chapter nineteen, Voltaire does not use satire to describe his pain, but uses unjust punishment. After Candide's meeting with the slave, he questions Pangloss' beliefs on optimism.Candide has ...view middle of the document...

Even though the Old Woman went through a rough time in her life, it still comes off rather funny because it is unreal. Candide feels that the Old Woman did have a rough life, but does not affect Candide enough to banish his beliefs of optimism, unlike his encounter with the slave later in the text.It is not until Candide and Cacambo reach the town of Surinam, that he visualizes life differently. The two stole upon a negro man that is lying on the ground barely clothed. Candide is astonished by the site and thinks to himself, why has this happened when this world is the best of all worlds. The slave tells his story which puts Candide in a state of silence. "When we work in the sugar-mills and get a finger caught in the machinery, they cut off the hand; but if we try to run away, they cut off a leg. I have found myself in both situations" (Voltaire 52). Candide finds this story totally different than the Old Lady's because he sees this as an actual happening rather than the Old Lady's story about cannibalism. One difference is that the Old Woman told a story that happened a while ago, and Candide can see that the Old Woman is doing well now. The slave on the other hand, is presently in pain and agony. Candide sees no good in the injustice brought on him. This is a very influential part of the text...

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