Candide Satire Analysis

745 Words3 Pages
Satire in the 18th Century The 18th century called for monumental social and economic change. Societal ways were changing and the overall beliefs of Europe was making a huge shift. In Voltaire’s Candide, as well as “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathon Swift, satire is used to critique the ways of society and allude to a better idea in turn. Candide is a philosophical tale testing Alexander Pope’s idea of “Philosophical Optimism.” The term philosophical optimism is the belief that all things are how they should be and this is the best possible way God could have created it. Voltaire’s counterarguments include natural disasters and sin which he expressed multiple times throughout his writing. One big example of this found in the text would be in Chapter 18, “What They Saw in the Land of Eldorado.” Eldorado is explained as the city of gold and the utopian land. In Eldorado there are no religious persecutions, everyone agrees about everything, and there are no need for courts or prisons. Around the city lie jewels, but to the citizens they are just rocks. As perfect as this land is Candide and Cacambo decide to Eldorado. Candide says, “It’s true, my friend, I’ll say it again, the castle…show more content…
An example of satire in Candide is Voltaire’s belief that superstitions are foolish. In Chapter 7 an earthquake had wiped out Lisban and the natives believed in “auto-da-fe” (Voltaire page 363) meaning that natural disasters happen because of some others wrong doing. In this case the authorities found a Biscayan who was accused of incest, two Portuguese men for being Jewish, and “Doctor Pangloss and his Disciple Candide.” The Biscayan and the two Portuguese men were burned, Pangloss was hung (or so we think), and Candide was flogged. After the ceremonial torturing of the wrong-doers, there was another earth quake proving that no amount of consequences could change the sway of natural

More about Candide Satire Analysis

Open Document