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An Analysis of the reasons for the catholic Church's Ban of the Book Candide by Voltaire - Essay Example

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AN ANALYSIS OF THE REASONS FOR THE CATHOLIC CHURCH'S BAN OF THE BOOK CANDIDE BY VOLTAIRE Introduction The Catholic Church instituted the Index Librorum Prohibitum in 1559. The purpose of having such a list was to identify and censor books it considered blasphemous and against the Church and God1…
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An Analysis of the reasons for the catholic Churchs Ban of the Book Candide by Voltaire
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Download file to see previous pages The listing of a book under this category made it illegal to possess or have anything to do with the publisher or the content of the book in states where the Catholic Church recognized by the state as the only recognized religion in the world. After the breakaway of the Anglican Church in the 1500s and the Protestant Reformation that was at its peak in the 1600s, a lot of criticisms were raised against the Catholic Church due to several inappropriate actions and deeds of some of its members through art, writings, actions, protests, wars and other forms of communication. In 1759, Voltaire published his book Candide. Voltaire was a man who had moved around Europe and had had several controversial experiences with authorities from Prussia to Geneva and to Lisbon2. He was a playwright who had a number of unpleasant experiences and had so much skepticism about religion, institutions and authorities in Europe and seemed to have lost confidence in all those institutions and had strong condemnation of them and their actions. The central theme of Candide sought to challenge the assertion of the Church and Lutheran philosophy that this world is the best of all possible worlds and all things work out for the best3. He uses the book, Candide to show that bad things happen to good people and there are many activities in the Europe of his time that were cruel and against humanity. Analysis of Candide The protagonist of the book, Candide was a young nephew of a Baron in Westphalia, present day Germany. His father was unknown so he was seen as a bastard with little rights and privileges in the castle. The Baron was a prosperous noble living a very comfortable life in a castle. He adhered to the popular Protestant belief that this world is the best and all things work together for good. The son of the Baron, Pangloss was a teacher of the religious idea that his father stood for. Pangloss believed and consistently taught that everything in this world exists for a purpose and all things work for the best. To him, every effect had a cause. Pangloss stated that “Observe, for instance, the nose is formed for spectacles, therefore we wear spectacles, The legs are visibly designed for stockings, accordingly we wear stockings. Stones are hewn to construct castles, therefore My Lord has a magnificent castle; for the greatest baron”4. Obviously, this statement presented Pangloss as a simplistic sycophant who sought to keep his congregants under some form of bondage so that the Baron, himself and his descendants could enjoy a comfortable life whilst the servant class remains under oppression. By presenting Pangloss as such, he sought to show that religion has been used as a tool to keep the working class under some kind of bondage to the Church and the ruling class of Europe in the pre-1750 period. This clearly provoked the church as it was blasphemous. In the events that followed in the book, a young beautiful girl in the castle, Cunegund saw Pangloss, the preacher having a sexual encounter with her mother's chambermaid in the woods. She was introduced to sex and sought to have an affair with Candide. The next day, Candide, who had been fantasizing about Cunegund bumped into her and they began to kiss. This was discovered by the Baron who swiftly threw Candide from the castle. Voltaire seem to have clearly demonstrated through this action that there was immorality being secretly practiced amongst people perceived to be holy in the Church. However, when innocent ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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