Candide and the enlightenment Essay

1087 WordsApr 1, 20095 Pages
How Does Candide Reflect The Enlightenment? Emerging in the late seventeenth century and climaxing about century later, the hero’s of the Enlightenment age demanded for a revolution. One of these Enlightenment hero’s, by the name of Francois Marie Arouet, was a key ingredient to the rebellion against the norm and did his attacking not with a sword or shield, but with a pen. Going by the later name of "Voltaire" while he was incarcerated in prison, Francois wrote one of his most famous works of his life time, Candide. Francois’ Candide, bashed the Christian power among many other things and was seen as a major contributor to the idealists of the Enlightenment. Voltaire was able to utilize Candide to demonstrate the most prominent issues of the Enlightenment period such as the hubris of nobility, how optimism and rationality is able to lessen the evils rendered by humans and criticize the revolution itself simultaneously. Even though the symbol of optimism is a key focus of satire in Candide, Voltaire did make sure that he pointed out the flaws of so called “Nobility” and its need of change in the new Enlightenment age. Voltaire ridiculed the nobles, along with their beliefs, showing readers that the previous way of nobility was arrogant and showed how change of this thought was important in the enlightenment period. Voltaire displayed this idea primarily through two main characters in Candide; the first was with Don Fernando and second was with Cunegund and her family. Candide starts out with Cunegunds father, the baron, catching both Candide and Cunegund kissing and because Candide is of lower class then Cunegund and the Barons’ irrational belief of her never “marrying down,” he kicks Candide out. Later in the story, Cunegunds’ brother, also steps in front of Candide and Cunegund from loving each other and he, like his father, also meets the end of a sword. In

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