Satire in Candide

Essay by gutaratticHigh School, 10th gradeB, January 2009

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A satire is a work that attacks the vices and follies of humankind. The novel, Candide, written by Voltaire, is about the journey of a man, Candide, through Europe and Africa, and the many satirical events, which pursue him. Because of the many and unexpected resurrections which take place throughout the novel, it is clear that Voltaire is satirizing the belief of resurrections, which relates to the Catholic/ Christian religion. Also, Voltaire satirizes organized religion through the many corrupt religious leaders who appear throughout the novel. Finally, Voltaire openly satirizes the optimistic beliefs of Enlightenment thinkers, most notable Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz. Because of the hysterical outcomes of many events in the novel, it is evident that Voltaire is satirizing many European mores.

Because of the many and various people that are reborn from the dead, Voltaire is clearly satirizing the belief of resurrections. Candide, who had been told that his deer Cunegonde was dead, was rejoined with her and realized that although she had been split open and ravished, "these two accidents do not always prove mortal" (30).

Because Pangloss had told him that Cunegonde had been split opened and killed, Candide, all this time, had thought that his love was dead. However, after she had been open, she was healed and sold as slave. Because of the sudden resurrection of Cunegonde, this meeting makes an almost hysterical situation. While on a Turkish ship, Candide discovers that Cunegonde's brother, the Baron, had not been killed, but had "been cured of the wound [Candide] gave [him]" (120). Prior to their meet on the ship, Candide had sliced through the Baron's body with his sword, and was sure that it was a fatal wound. This resurrection creates another hysterical moment, adding to the satire towards the belief of resurrections. Finally,