Candide and Military Satire

Voltaire's Candide bears the mark of a piece written during a time of reform. It is heavy with satire, poking fun at whatever issues become tangled in its storyline. The subjects tackled range from the political to the religious, and each receives its share of criticism. In many ways, it is what should be expected from an Enlightenment-era work: a criticism of the old ways. In a time of changing political, religious, and scientific beliefs, the literature produced should was often intended to reflect this flux in attitudes. Candide easily accomplishes this by criticizing class boundaries, religion, slavery, and, most importantly, the military.

Through Candide, Voltaire is able to criticize numerous topics. The story's premise is set around Candide being thrown out of the Baron's household for having ignored class rules and fallen in love with Miss CunÃgonde (Gordon 43). This incident sets the story in motion and makes it fairly obvious that Voltaire did not believe in the legitimacy of such class boundaries. Religion is another topic that comes under attack by Voltaire - albeit in perhaps a slightly less brutally manner. A utopia is found in which religion is delegated to the people and, subsequently, there are no...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1655 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 10748 literature essays, 2695 sample college application essays, 631 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in