Methods of Satire used in "Candide", "Animal Farm", "Hard Times"

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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 part of the events necessary for them to reach happiness. Voltaire portrays Pangloss as the true vision of optimism.

Candide eventually learns how to achieve happiness in the face of misadventure. He learns that in order to attain a state of contentment, one must be part of society where there is collective effort and work. Candide learns that labour eliminates want, boredom and vice; which he feels are the three curses of mankind. In order to create such a society, man must do the following: love his fellow man, be just, be vigilant, know how to make the best of a bad situation and keep from theorizing. Voltaire expresses this last requirement for such a society briefly when he says, Lets work without speculating; it's the only way of rendering life bearable. Voltaire presents some major ideas in his novel. Even as a philosopher of the Enlightenment himself, Voltaire uses Candide as a platform to criticize the utter optimism of his fellow colleagues. Voltaire uses...
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