Candide - Essay Example

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The book reflected the main incidents and happenings in Europe and the rest of the world in the mid 1700s. It shows several elements of injustices in Europe that was inherited from the Medieval periods and the Dark Ages of Europe. The…
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of Lecturers Analysis of Candide by Voltaire Candide was written by Voltaire in 1759. The book reflected the main incidents and happenings in Europe and the rest of the world in the mid 1700s. It shows several elements of injustices in Europe that was inherited from the Medieval periods and the Dark Ages of Europe. The book, Candide challenged fundamental elements and institutions of the contemporary society and gave impetus for the Renaissance in Europe.
In the book, the main characters are the Baron and his family which exhibits how power was distributed in Europe. It shows that European nobility had formed a ruling class that was involved in the oppression of the masses through harsh and strict laws. Most of these Barons perverted justice because they had unfettered powers. Dr. Pangloss represented philosophers of that generation. Dr. Pangloss believed in logic steeped in divine providence. Dr. Pangloss position discouraged effort. It allowed people to accept things as they were and live with them. This position discouraged science and development in the society.
James the Antabaptist depicted the fact that idealistic religion caused good people to suffer whilst bad people enjoyed life. This was a fundamental questioning of the essence of religion. This is shown by the fact that even though James did many good things by healing Dr. Pangloss, sharing the little he had and even rescuing the drowning man, he drowned in the stead of the person he sought to save. On the other hand, the bad person who was rescued got a new lease in life and went to loot from the rubles of the Lisbon earthquake.
Candide, Ms Cunegund and the Old Woman were just helpless victims of the society who suffered because of the injustices of the European society. The institutions satirized included the Catholic Church which supported the oppressive system of Europe. The Old Woman was the daughter of a Pope. Protestants in Germany had a belief in divine providence which stood in the way of independent thinking. Protestants in Holland had a strong hatred for the Pope and this led to war. Atheists were seen as people who did not believe in anything but enjoyed life. States like Germany, Portugal, Ottoman Empire and Britain were depicted as unjust and disrespectful of human rights. They supported extrajudicial killing, slavery, war and many inhumane practices.
Candides travels show the different trends in Europe like the injustices perpetrated in wars in Europe. In Holland, Voltaire shows evidence of anti-Catholicism, pure capitalism and lack of social security systems. In Lisbon, Voltaire shows that the Portuguese were involved in dogma and fundamentalism which supported the killing of people to appease God to avoid an earthquake. In South America, Voltaire discusses the way the negativity in Europe was exported the Americas. He shows that strange values exist in other parts of the world like women marrying monkeys. The lesson there is that all cultures must be recognized.
The essence of a book like Candide at the time it was published is that, it was one of the few tools that could question the unjust ruling systems and institutions of Europe. It was one of the tools that led to the French Revolution which was based on the demand for liberty, equality and fundamental human rights. Candide laid the foundation for the demand for fundamental human rights, freedom of religion and the recognition of cultures as we have it today.
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Voltaire Francois-Marie Arouet. Candide. Rockwell Publishing. 1759. Print. Read More
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