The Transformation Of Women In Voltaire's Candide

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The “after picture” of society in this situation serves as the final stage of women’s evolution in terms of their place in society. He makes this transformation very directly and bluntly, which contrasts his usual style of being understated. This makes the message much clearer to the audience and much more impactful. Voltaire sees women as being equals to men and having much more value. He sees them working alongside men in actual jobs, not sex slaves, “Cunegonde was indeed ugly, but she became an excellent hand at pastry work; Paquette at embroidery, and the Old Woman at laundry” (Voltaire 375). All three of the women learn skills to contribute to the group in the Garden, which Voltaire uses to display a utopian society where people live ideal lives. This includes the women as all three of them evolve from being sex slaves to having actual trade skills. This depiction of women represents the use and potential that Voltaire sees in…show more content…
He imagines them as people contributing to society instead of them just serving man’s desires. Voltaire is again, light-years ahead of his peers in terms of social knowledge. Candide was written one hundred years before Les Miserables and Madame Bovary but still manages to be more tolerant and optimistic than the two of them combined.
The prevalence of rape culture and victim blaming is felt very heavily in modern day, but especially in the time of all three authors. However it is felt most strongly in the ignorant moments of Les Miserables and Madame Bovary. Both novels show a complete lack of education on the topic that cannot be blamed on the time period, as Voltaire 's Candide was written one hundred years before it and shows a fundamental understanding of it. Hugo and Flaubert’s faults come when they fail to recognize the mistake they are making in perpetuating the very essence of rape culture by consistently
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