What was the historical significance of Voltaire ‘Candied’ and it’s relevance during the Enlightenment? In his work, Candied, Voltaire uses satire as a means of conveying his opinions about many aspects of European society In the eighteenth century, a period known as the Enlightenment. This Age of Reason swept through Europe, offering differing views on science, religion, and politics. The following essay will outline the philosophical theory of Pompanos, a character of the novel and suggest how his optimistic worldview is challenged by numerous disasters.
I will also Justify the reasons Voltaire attacks hypocrisy, most prevalent in religion, and displays the cruel actions of the priests, monks, and other religious leaders. In the novel his anger becomes obvious towards the church and the nobility. I will relate to findings how Voltaire expresses his views about society. His belief that the separation of class, hypocrisy of organized religion, rampant materialism, lack of Free Will, and deficiency of compassion for others, all contributed to the lack of human liberty in the eighteenth century.
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Candied, a kind hearted man, Is the leading character of the novel. He acknowledges he greed, violence, and cruelty of mankind, yet still offers kind and meaningful charity to those In need. He travels the world encountering a wide variety of misfortunes, all the while pursuing security and following Condoned, the woman he loves. She was of noble birth, the daughter of a German baron. ‘Candid’s tutor, Dry Pompanos, were maintaining that we live in the best of all possible worlds, where everything is connected and arranged for the best. ‘ His optimistic belief is the primary target of the novel’s satire.
For him man Is the creator of his own world and his sense of morality should gulled him. He believed: ‘Individual misfortunes create general welfare, so that the more Individual misfortunes there are, the more all Is well. ‘ Candied believed Pantaloons philosophy without question because he has never had any direct experiences with the outside world. Candid’s adventures begin with his expulsion from the castle and the beginning of his re-education. This happened because of his close encounter with Condoned, a forbidden affair, because of her nobility. He was forced to serve In the attacking Vulgar army and later tortured.
The world of the army Is full of evil, cruelty, and suffering. Powerful members of the nobility start wars, but common soldiers and subjects suffer the consequences. Neither side of the conflict is better than the other, and both engage in rape, murder, and destruction. However Candid’s experiences In the real world at times directly contradict killing thousand s of people and destroying much of the Portuguese capital. Many of these were killed while praying in church. ‘If God is all good and omniscient, why, Voltaire reasoned, would He allow such and event to occur. Thus, Candied and the reader are forced to reject Pangolin’s view of optimism. He says: ‘If this is the best of all possible worlds,’ ‘what would the rest be like. ‘ When Candied meets the old woman, she tells him of the rape, slavery and cannibalism she has experienced, launches into this speculation about suicide. ‘l have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life. ‘ The old woman is pessimistic but acutely aware of the world she lives in. Direct experience dictates her worldview, and her pragmatism lends her more wisdom and credibility than any of her travel companions.
The old woman chides CUNY??Gonne for making Judgments about the oral based on her limited experience, and urges Candied and CUNY??Gonne to gather knowledge through investigation before making Judgments. However Candid’s optimism fluctuates during the course of his travels because of his brutal treatments of cruelty. Voltaire uses satire throughout the entire novel to criticize his society. He believes that hypocrisy is prevalent in religion. Voltaire promotes the idea of reform in almost every chapter. He disagrees with how the government works, how the nobility acts, and especially the religious leaders who do not practice what they preach.
Although Voltaire shows how impossible it is to reach an ideal society, he suggests that people should work hard and be honest to live life as happily and practically as possible. Voltaire includes many duplicitous holy Characters and blasphemous events done in the name of religion. The most comical example of this is when Condoned casually maintains, ‘l had an excellent seat, and delicious refreshments were served to the ladies between Mass and the execution’ when asked about her experience at the auto-dad-fee. ‘ The auto-dad-fee, or act of faith, was the Inquisition’s practice of burning heretics alive.
Pompanos had been unjustly hanged, dissected, beaten to a pulp, and -sentenced to the galleys. The officials of the Inquisition systematically tortured and murdered tens of thousands of people on the slightest suspicion of heresy against orthodox Christian doctrine. Jews, Protestants, Muslims, and accused witches were victims of this organized campaign of violence. Like many Enlightenment intellectuals, Voltaire was appalled by the barbarism and superstition of the Inquisition, and by the religious fervor that inspired it. Within Candied are many examples of the evils that accompany materialism.
When he and his friends have money, peace, and security, and he finally marries Condoned, he is far form fulfilled. As the old woman points out, these rare blessings have not brought them happiness. However Martin a cynical scholar whom Candied befriends as a travel companion has suffered a great deal in his life and preaches a philosophy of undiluted pessimism. More knowledgeable and intelligent than either Candied or Pompanos, Martin is nonetheless a flawed philosopher. Because he always expects nothing but the worst from the world, he often has trouble seeing the world as it really is.
Martin is a foil to Pompanos. He does not believe that everything is for the evil side of human nature. For Martin, the presence of evil in the world does not inspire detailed logical Justification. Candied tries to counter Martin’s arguments by citing the idea of free will. However, free will does not solve the dilemma of the presence of evil in a world created by a perfectly good, omniscient, omnipotent Christian God. Voltaire illustrates two major problems inherent in Pangolin’s philosophy. First, his philosophy flies in the face of overwhelming evidence from the real world.
Pompanos after enduring many traumatic ordeals but yet he continues to espouse optimism. He maintains his optimistic philosophy even at the end of the novel, when he himself admits that he has trouble believing in it. Voltaire advocates the induction of ideas from concrete evidence; Pompanos, in contrast, willfully ignores any evidence that contradicts his initial opinion. At the close of the novel when Candied challenges Pompanos on his theory of optimism asking: ‘When you had been hanged, dissected, and beaten unmercifully……. Did you still think that everything in this world is for the est.? ‘l still hold my original views,’ replied Pompanos, ‘for I am a philosopher. ‘ In his novel Candied, Voltaire constantly uses satire to point out the follies in society. I believe this was his way of helping the community reshape their behavior and attitudes. He brings to view sin, selfishness and religious intolerance that was created by the upper class citizens and religious leaders. The novel attacks the notion that our progress as a society can be left up to destiny, or to God. Behind this cynicism there is the fundamental truth of genuine hope.
Voltaire anger at the reality that men were willing to disregard their capabilities in favor a vague opportunity at an afterlife drove him to create the ridiculous life of Candied, subjecting his character to endless misery. Although Voltaire shows how impossible it is to reach an ideal society, he suggests that people should work hard and be honest to live life as happily and practically as possible. In conclusion Candied, has a belief that in the face of all adversities that life can be tolerable if one works hard and takes responsibility for him or herself.
Though Pangolin’s own experiences contradict this belief, he remains faithful to it nonetheless. By uncovering these hypocritical moments, Voltaire is trying to show contempt towards the actions of the religious leaders and followers. He satirized these events to pinpoint the problem of society in hopes that they will change for the better. Voltaire Candied is overflowing with philosophical beliefs on the necessity of compassion for others. Voltaire uses many characters and sardonic phrases that give evidence of his strong belief in the kind treatment of others.