The Role Of Women In "Candide", Satire Or Contradiction?

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"Candide", I must say is by far one of my favorite stories ever read. I enjoyed Voltaire's humorous satire, irony, and the way these were depicted through each character. The character Candide, was very naive and innocent. He was also quite comical, to me. Candide was easily fooled and taken advantage of because of his candid personality. He was a very honest character, so honest that most of the time he made himself look bad. Candide's optomist attitude in the story began to tell me too much. Especially when he would encounter women who had been abused but would view their situations as just a way of life. This is the part of the story that I disliked. I noticed that women in "Candide" were often terrorized and sexually abused. This made it difficult for me to get to know the female characters especially when compared to the male characters. Between Cunegonde, the old woman, and Paquette, it made it quite obvious for me to sense the dislike of women within the text. This made me question the reasoning behind why Voltaire might have chosen to depict women in this manner. The women in "Candide" have all been victims of sexual exploitation. The three main female characters Cunegonde, the old woman, and Paquette are all raped, forced into sexual slavery, or both. These women circumstances cause the male characters to view them as inferior, weak, and jadish. In chapter four, Candide finds out that Cunegonde had been killed. He faints because of the awful news. Naively, Candide thinks it's because of him getting kicked out of her father's castle until Pangloss tells him that she had been raped by burglar soldiers. Candide faints once again, but disregards the rape situation because he thinks it's expected and for the best. He proceeds in asking Pangloss about how he has contracted Syphilis from Paquette. He then tells all the people it had been passed from before

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