Voltaire’s Satire, Candide
Voltaire’s satirical work, Candide, has many aspects. He attacks the conflicting philosophy of the Enlightenment, which was the aristocracy. He also states how unbelievable romantic novels. But, Candide is a satire on organized religion. It’s not that Voltaire did not believe in God, it’s that he disapproved of organized religion. He believed that people should be able to worship God how they saw fit, not by how organized religion instructed them to.
The first place that it becomes evident that he is mocking organized religion is where Candide leaves the Baron’s castle. Candide is distraught over the loss of the relationship he had hoped for with the Baron’s daughter. He becomes a beggar. When he begs for food from a man preaching Calvinism, the preacher asks what Candide believes in. When Candide says that he does not believe that the pope is the antichrist, the preacher, who represents organized religion, refuses to give him food.
A man who has not been baptized, James the Anabaptist, befriends Candide. Voltaire displays James as good man who believes that an adult should be able to decide his religious affiliation rather than to adhere to the beliefs of his upbringing. Voltaire also makes fun of the differences between religions.
The Baron’s daughter, Cunegonde, become involved with two important men. One man is a grand inquisitor and the other a Jewish merchant. They share Conegonde and come to argue about who should have her on what day, arguing over Saturdays and Sundays. Voltaire is showing that even the most religious of men can be dishonest.
Candide loosed touch with Cunegonde and travels to the Americas. He becomes friends with a page called Cacambo. They travel together to a city called Eldorado, which is a legendary place in South America of untold wealth. Voltaire depicts it as a place where there is no jealousy, everything is free, and everyone has everything they need. He shows it as a perfect place. What is...
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