Theme Of Satire In Candide

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The targets of Voltaire’s satire in his novel Candide are many and varied. This novel is one of the reasons that he is considered one of the masters of satire in literature. Satire can be defined as the literary way of using irony and sarcasm to encourage improvement or change. The satirist often has a critical view on the world and usually presents their material with a level of humor and wit. Satire is very abundant in this novel and is found in many different themes and characters. One of the main targets of satire in the novel is Pangloss’s philosophical optimism. Voltaire also uses satire to criticize religion, war and mortality. His characters escape death, only to have them face harsher situations. Voltaire exaggerates situations to show how ridiculous some ideas or opinions can be. He has very clear opinions against romanticism and optimism. Pangloss’s optimism never wavers throughout the novel but it is often put into question. His theory is introduced in the first chapter of the novel. “It is demonstrable that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for all being created for an end, all is necessarily for the best end.” (1.14). Pangloss believes in the idea that everything happens for a reason. From the very beginning, Candide is ripped from his perfect life at the castle and thrown into many different, almost always horrible situations. Situations that would waver any normal person’s optimism. “‘All that is for the best. If there is a volcano at Lisbon it
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