The Use Of Satire In Candide

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Satire is the use of humor or ridicule to express the stupidity of an individual, government, or company. Through the use of this literary technique Enlightenment thinkers, or philosophers, composed arts to mock several ideals of the time period. Several philosophers at the time were using satire to write novels, the most famous of which was a thinker named François-Marie Arouet or more commonly known by his nom de plume Voltaire. Voltaire wrote a fictional novel called Candide which follows the main character, Candide, through a difficult journey from nobility to farmer. In this writing, François-Marie Arouet used satire to ridicule several beliefs of his time period including the military and social inequality of women. Voltaire used satire…show more content…
In one instance, François-Marie Arouet writes that the Janissaries, a tribe of the time period, would resort to cannibalism because of a shortage of food. When the Janissaries resort to cannibalism, they, “‘Only cut off a buttock of each of those ladies…and you'll fare extremely well; if you must go to it again, there will be the same entertainment a few days hence; heaven will accept of so charitable an action, and send you relief’” (Voltaire 51). In this evidence, an old woman is telling a story about her life. She ends up with the Janissaries during a siege and one of the guards tells his men to only eat one buttock of each woman. This means that the Janissaries believe that the women are incapable of several tasks that men are capable of and therefore showing that women are inferior to men. Voltaire uses another piece of satire in Candide to mock the belief that women are unequal to men when Candide and Cacambo come in contact with the Oreillons. The Oreillons capture Candide and Cacambo after he shoots boys that were harassing their girlfriends and the following events occurred, “The Oreillons untied their prisoners, showed them all sorts of civilities, offered them girls, gave them refreshment, and conducted them to the confines of their territories, proclaiming with great joy: ‘He is no Jesuit! He is no Jesuit!’" (Voltaire 73). When Candide and Cacambo get captured…show more content…
For instance, Voltaire uses satire to ridicule the recruitment process of soldiers; in which they get Candide drunk, compliment him, and arrest him to bring Candide to their regiment. To ridicule the social inequality of women, Voltaire uses the Oreillons to portray the “women as property” ideal. The tribe, as soon as they recognize that Candide was not a Jesuit, offer him and Cacambo girls as a gift. With Voltaire criticizing the status quo during the Enlightenment period, the French government exiled him, arrested him, and then exiled him again and yet Voltaire kept producing works that criticized the normal way of living. Voltaire was persistent in annoying the government because he wanted change in society during the Enlightenment
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