Power Between Men And Women In Voltaire's Candide

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In Voltaire’s Candide there is an evident imbalance of powers between men and women. Regardless of it taking place in the 18th century, the depiction of women are illustrated as powerful only when she ranks behind, or by the side, of a man with true power. Another power that they all held was their virginity, but unfortunately, Voltaire shows the audience the true consequence of using sexuality as a power in the 1800s. This is when rape is illustrated as a common element in the story. More often than not, the women in Candide are stripped away from their titles of nobility more than once, and then are later on compared with whom had a tougher life; this was normally measured with murder, loss of nobility, loss of loved ones, and rape. This, ironically, leads to a steady understanding that women were so lacking in power, that their only way to truly gain experience and clarity in the world was to go through all of these hardships. Cunégonde described it as, “For though a person of honor may be raped once, her virtue is only strengthened by experience” (Voltaire p366). The Old Woman in the story had a…show more content…
. .] it’s an indispensable part of the best of worlds, a necessary ingredient; if Columbus had not caught, on an American island, this sickness which attacks the source of generation and sometimes prevents nature entirely--which thus strikes at and defeats the greatest end of Nature herself--we should have neither chocolate nor cochineal” (Voltaire. Pangloss to Candide 361).
Following the “knowledgeable” Pangloss, Candide then slowly started to truly see the real world at the cost of killing many people in the name of the “best of worlds”. So instead of getting raped and tossed aside like most women in Candide, this story allowed the ignorant Candide to actually be powerful enough to kill people in a hasty manner. Then not only was this male protagonist given clarity that Pangloss’ philosophy wasn’t very factual, but was also given a position of
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