This essay analyzes Voltaire's ideas on reform through his novel Candide. He is for reform and this essay shows examples of why.

Essay by XoXhUnni3XoXCollege, Undergraduate October 2003

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Voltaire uses satire to point out the follies in society during his time in order to help the community reshape their behavior and attitudes. He brings to view sin, selfishness, and religious intolerance that are created by the upper class citizens and religious leaders. Voltaire has an ideal society and government in mind, but he knows that it is impossible to achieve. In order to avoid misery, one should live life happily through hard work and honesty. Voltaire's idea of reform in his novel can be characterized as positive. He suggests the need for reform by revealing the evils in society, such as hypocrisy, especially in the name of religion and the arrogance of wealthy people.

Throughout the novel, Voltaire attacks hypocrisy, most prevalent in religion, and displays the cruel actions of the priests, monks, and other religious leaders. When Cunegonde and Candide are reunited for the first time, Cunegonde tells him the most unfortunate story.

First she was raped by a Bulgarian and was then held as a prisoner of war (Voltaire, 40). Later the Bulgar captain sold her, as though she was a commodity, to a Jewish man by the name of Don Issachar, who had to share her with the Grand Inquisitor (Voltaire, 41-42). Soon after, the readers find out that the old woman was also sold again and again. Voltaire is showing the immorality of every class and religion. This was seen twice in the novel to highlight the lack of human values. The old woman was also raped by the Moroccan pirates when she and her mother went on a holiday (Voltaire, 51). They were then taken to Morocco, where the Emperor's sons fought to win the old woman and some other ladies (Voltaire, 52). Voltaire tells us that during the bloodshed and rape, the...