Humanity In Voltaire's Candide

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Impure thoughts, deceitful monks, and lustful followers of God run rampant throughout the course of Voltaire’s Candide. The faults of humanity, as exemplified through a variety of zany characters in the episodic novel, trace back to Voltaire’s own life experiences. Growing up in an aristocratic family in Paris, France, Voltaire immersed himself within the chaos of society, often taking interest in the complexities of human nature. Unlike Candide, Voltaire is disgusted by the lack of morals and virtue within society. Against his father's wishes, he decides to use his distinctive voice and Jesuit education to become an author. Within his career he creates a multitude of satirical masterpieces criticizing the follies of those around him. Nothing…show more content…
Due to their traumatic experiences the innocent maidens all considers themselves “one of the most unfortunate creatures in the world” (92). Paquette, deflowered and afraid, runs from guy to guy making her living as a prostitute. When Candide and Martin first encounter her “the young woman was very pretty and singing. She looked at the monk adoringly and from time to time pinched his checks.” (90). In order to prove his Martin happiness still existed and secure his own optimist beliefs, Candide invites Paquette and the monk over to dinner only to find out into her happiness is just a façade orchestrated by her “terrible profession that you men find so pleasant, while to us woman it is but an abyss of mystery” (92). Through the narrative of Brother Gioeffree and Paquettes relationship Voltaire satirizes the corruption and ignorance of religious figures. As a member of the Catholic church, Brother Gioffre is supposed to serve the lord in a priestly and apostolic manner. Instead he uses his time either banging his head into the wall or banging a variety of prostitutes to relieve his incessant boredom. Brother Giroffe's false virtues are apparent his every action. Reeking of desperation and lust the poor monk is left to roam the earth hating his existence while teaching others how to love God’s creations. Voltaire’s criticism continues throughout the narratives of the old woman and Cunegonde. When describing the old woman’s childhood, Voltaire gets a good jab in a the Catholic Church by “conferring a bastard on the pope” (31), highlighting the infidelity he sees within religion. Cunegonde on the other hand is tossed between the Grand Inquisitor and a jew who struck a deal that “the Jew would get Mondays, Wednesday and the Sabbath, while the Grand Inquisitor would get the other days of the
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