Topics: Candide, El Dorado, Voltaire Pages: 2 (835 words) Published: March 4, 2013
Voltaire, with a sharp tongue, satirizes several institutions, values, and ideas in '"Candide." Most noticeably, he attacks religious intolerance, greed, and the denial of love. In the beginning of the novel, after Candide is kicked from his castle, he flees from between attacking armies to where he meets an orator. The man had been giving a speech on charity, and addresses Candide as "my friend." Once he finds that Candide does not 'believe the Pope to be antichrist,' however, his attitude changes. He soon forgets his teachings and insults Candide as a "wretch" and "rogue," saying he "does not deserve to eat" (6). As well, the man's wife empties her chamber-pot onto Candide—"to what excess does religious zeal carry the ladies!" (6). Hoping to find generosity and compassion, Candide is, instead, turned away by this man because of his religious beliefs. When Candide and Cacambo stumble upon El Dorado—truly the best of all possible worlds—they are overcome by greed and jealousy. Rather than stay in this paradise with great food, music, and quality of life, they choose to leave at great expense to the inhabitants, and take gold and jewels with them. It is more appealing to live in the real world (portrayed as quite faulty by now), but to be rich than to live in paradise on a level plain with everyone else. The King warns that they are "foolish to leave" (46), but understands the value of their 'dirt and pebbles,' for which Europeans would "murder [them] to the last man" (44). Candide later regrets leaving El Dorado. Candide, throughout the entire novel, pursues the love of his life: Cunegonde. His is turned away at least twice, being denied her hand in marriage. The woman herself has given her permission, and the two profess their mutual love, but the objections come from Cunegonde's relations: her father and brother. Her father, the King, "chased [Candide] from the castle with great kicks" (2) when he sees them kissing. Her brother, later on, says he will "never be...
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