Candide

The Wider the Scope, the Greater the Success 12th Grade

The moment that mankind became advanced enough to ridicule the society that it had created was the moment that it began doing so. This form of societal ridicule known as satire has been around since the time of the Egyptians, though most modern satire is rooted in the writings of Horace and Juvenal, with Horatian satire being built upon wit, and Juvenalian satire being built upon pure unbridled rage. After the deaths of Horace and Juvenal, satire continued to grow and evolve as a medium for confronting social issues in the same fashion until the mid-16th century, when simply targeting one aspect of society at a time was no longer sufficient for some satirists to completely express their general discontentment. The satirist needed to invent a new engine of ridicule so that he or she could properly address the innumerable shortcomings of the world without having to write for years on end. Thus, the picaresque was born.

The picaresque allowed the satirist send his or her main character anywhere, at any time, for no reason, therefore allowing the author to mercilessly deride as many subjects as he or she deemed necessary without having to become bogged down in plot or story development. Of course, the advent of the picaresque soon...

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