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The concept of genealogical relations and the social legitimacy they confer is thoroughly satirized, first in the description of Miss Cunégonde's flawless nobility, then in Pangloss's explanation of his syphilis contamination, which he traces all the way back to Christopher Columbus's voyage to the Americas. Voltaire succeeds in making a pointed commentary about the arbitrariness of privilege and wealth, but also misfortune and poverty. In his view, there is about as much nobility in having descended from several thousands years of uninterrupted aristocracy as there is in having caught a venereal disease originally transmitted by the famous explorer of New World.