Essay by vickybennettCollege, UndergraduateA, November 2012

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The Enlightenment from Voltaire's Eyes

Candide is a quintessential Enlightenment satire in which Voltaire expresses many concerns that the philosophes had. A Philosophe was not a philosopher. "The philosophes were trying to take the philosophers ideas and apply them to the world" (9/12/12). One of the most well known philosophes was Voltaire. "His most famous battle cry was 'Ecrasez L'infame!' In other words, crush this infamous thing (WC, 405). "Voltaire was a man of contradictions, he did not believe in miracles, was not superstitious in the slightest bit and he did not believe in an interventionist god." He wanted to crush power structures that allowed people to get away with horrible things. (9/14/12). One of Voltaire's most well known works, is Candide, which is about Candide traveling the world and seeing all of its true sufferings. His mentor Pangloss is a true optimist but when Candide is traveling and witnesses many of the horrible things that the true philosophes were against he says "Pangloss most cruelly deceived me when he said that everything in the world is for the best."

(Voltaire, 26)

Voltaire had a habit of mocking many things, even the philosophers. "Candide, who trembled like a philosopher, hid himself as well as he could during this heroic butchery." (Voltaire, 11) Voltaire was a very talented and sharp-tongued writer who would use his works of writing to get his opinions across. He had multiple themes in his writings, which consisted of religious and political liberty, but most of all his opposition of religious bigotry (WC, 405.) Candide, being one of his most famous satires, has many examples of religious intolerance. The two Portuguese men who were involved in an auto-da-fe because they rejected bacon that was given to them is just one example. " The rejection of bacon...