Voltaire satirizes war and the Church in his novella, Candide. War is depicted as unnecessary, and something that only brings pain and the worst out of most people. While escaping the Bulgarian army who “whipped (him) six-and-thirty times through all the regiment” (Ch. 2) for taking a walk, Candide witnesses absolute devastation and death in an “Abare village which the Bulgarians had burnt according to the laws of war” (Ch. 3). And when he escaped that village, he entered a Bulgarian village, which was almost an identical scene to the Abarian one, emphasizing the victimization of the population while their armies completely ignore the devastation as they pursue expansion and profit. Voltaire also attacks another establishment, the Church, or religion in general, because it breeds severe intolerance. After the earthquake in Lisbon, two men were caught for “rejecting the bacon which larded a chicken they were eating” (Ch. 6), which to the Inquisition implied that they were Jews. At the same time, after “speaking his (Pangloss) mind, the other (Candide) for having listened with an air of approbation” (Ch. 6), Pangloss and Candide were seized. The two men and the accused ‘Jews’ were forced to participate in the auto-da-fe, a sort of penance ceremony hosted by the Inquisition. Though the Familiar makes these petty accusations in the name of God, Voltaire criticizes the corruption of such an event and the system by bringing this particular character into a later chapter, which explains that he was actually using Miss Cunegonde as a sex slave for a long period of time. The Inquisitor also abused his power by organizing the auto-da-fe in hopes that it would scare off Don Issachar because he was a Jew, putting innocent men’s lives to an end for a mistress.
Voltaire was a fervent devotee of social reform, concerning religion, free trade, and the liberty of the people, reflected in Candide since he puts almost all the religious figures as well as...
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