Hypocrisy In Voltaire's Candide

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Eighteenth century Europe was a time of upheaval most specifically referring to aspects of intellectual, social and political revolutions. This time is commonly referred to as the Age of the Enlightenment largely because revolutionary ideas and discoveries made in the eighteenth century are still widely accepted and used today. During this time authority was no longer seen as the absolute source of information. People explored new ideas, ways of government and treatment of people. The French belief system was based mainly around abiding to their faith. Technological and economic discoveries made people aware of new ways to use science in lieu of philosophy and theology. The improvement in agricultural, diet, health care and living conditions helped to expand the middle class and their societal beliefs agriculture, entrepreneurship and urban living. In addition, the addition of canals, larger ports and improved roadways…show more content…
Candide denounces many socially accepted practices regarding the church, the weakness of the French monarchy and the social class system – especially the status of women. Though not an atheist, Voltaire was opposed to organized religion. Consequently, Voltaire was highly accusatory of Catholicism and believed the bible was outdated and allegorical. Voltaire exposed hypocrisy in the church by using characters like the Grand Inquisitor who sentenced Candide to be flogged for listening with an air of acceptance (p. 13). As well as, the Pope who has a child even though he took a vow to be celibate (p. 24), along with the Friar who steals jewels (p. 21). Voltaire’s belief that Christians vow to be good but only practice when it is convenient for them is shown when Candide approaches the Pope after a sermon, in Holland asking for food and the Pope laughs in his face. Candide said he knew the people were Christians but he did not expect to be treated well (p.
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