The Role Of Satire In Voltaire's Candide

649 Words3 Pages
In a work of literary genius full of sarcasm and satire, Voltaire expresses his disapproval towards the Old Regime in a condemnatory yet playful tone during a period referred to as the Enlightenment. Voltaire's Candide presents seditious contemplation of the dimensions of social hierarchy. The most ubiquitous argument bestowed in this novel is Voltaire's rejection of the tyranny the church displayed through religious intolerance. Both secular and religious leaders alike immediately denounced the rebellious book and its author, but that did not stop its effects. In his now world-renowned novel, Voltaire articulates his powerful opposition to religious sectarianism, assists in implementing these revolutionary ideas into the minds of the oppressed,…show more content…
Religion itself, as well as monks, priests, and other religious figures, are repetitively illustrated as nefarious and crooked. For example, when Candide is in the Christian country of Holland at the beginning of the novel, he asks a Protestant couple that had just finished preaching about charity to a large group of people for bread and the husband asks if Candide believes the pope is the antichrist.
When Candide essentially defers the question, the man responds with, "You don’t deserve to eat it. Be off with you, you rogue! Away with you, you miserable wretch! And don't you come near me ever again" (Voltaire, 8). After this occurs, Candide is helped by an Anabaptist named James. The kindness of this man shows Voltaire's disapproval of religious prejudice, considering at this time Anabaptists were extremely unpopular and often persecuted. Throughout the novel, popular religions are criticized and shown to be highly immoral continuously through characters such as the Inquisitor, Don Issacar, and Pope Urban X.
Voltaire imprints these ideas in the minds of the oppressed by having lower class characters as well-liked characters in order to relate with the reader and by making Dr.
Open Document