Saturday, April 13, 2019
Candide by Voltaire Essay Example for Free
Candide by Voltaire EssayThrough Candides perplexing adventures and enlightening encounters, Voltaire illuminates the numerous diverse cultures of which Europeans consider themselves superior. Yet rather than supporting the foreign practices of cannibalism, bestiality, and the abolishment of priests, Voltaire is ridiculing the Europeans protest methods of torture in an abusive social hierarchy. Therefore, piece license of expression and a consensus of the majority constitute faucets of good manner, the European practice of elitist rule and inequitable penalisations is revealed as cheating(prenominal). This reprehension suggests the need for remediate by deriving authority from somewhere other than the traditional roles of the royalty, clergy, and gentry, a rather basal move at the time. Voltaire at first reveals the fault of Europeans through his description of the nail land of Oreillon. Upon their dissent from Paraguay, Candide and Cacambo come across dickens women , wholly nude, who cry out and spryly run forward from two monkeys who snap at their buttocks (73). Instantly sympathetic, Candide shoots his musket and kills the monkeys, echoing that he has redeemed himself from earlier sins by saving these distressed women. However, to his surprise he discoers that he has just killed the ladies lovers. Without questioning the practices of this foreign society, Candide reacts based on his own perceptions of right and wrong. His actions reflect the naivety of Europeans concerning what is thought to be normal based on their own superior culture.As punishment for Candides rash actions, the Oreillons attempt to roast the travelers over a cat to eat, justifying this through the proclamations that Candide and Cacambo be Jesuits and thus deserve to die. This deportment is explained by Cacambo as being clutch because if we Europeans do non exercise our right to eat others, it is because we have other ingredients for a good meal (pg. 74). He recog nizes that each society contains its own equ both(prenominal)y valid practices which can non be altered or condemned by those who think they ar predominant. In addition, Voltaire is not justifying that bestiality and cannibalism constitute a righteous society, but rather satirically commenting on the Europeans own practices, for it would be hypocritical to condemn these practices without evaluating whether the Europeans own forms of punishment are just.As the innocent Candide ventures to Eldorado, he is once again introduced to a land unlike that found in contemporary Europe. Upon their arrival, the travelers bewilderingly walk upon pavement made up of rubies, emeralds, and gold and rapture in the delights of a free feast at a common inn. The generous, humble citizens then guide them to an old domain and, later, even the approachable king, in order to answer their many questions. Through these communicators they come to realize that the about striking aspects of the village do n ot constitute its physical features, but rather its ideology. They are told that all men are free, and thus there is no need for the establishment of courts, trials, or prisons. piece of music Candide is quite a baffled by these assurances which completely contrast the structured social organization of Europe, he is even more confused by the lack of priests or an enforced religion, upon which he exclaims, What You have no monks who lecture, debate, govern, conspire, and burn deal who dont agree with them? (79). These seemingly sarcastic remark is a reflection of the binary sentiment in which the Europeans have taught their citizens to believe. Candide had always considered the church as an institution which interjects in every aspect of flavor and constantly ridicules and punishes others while denying the fact that there are other practices and religions besides the order of the church and Catholicism. Voltaire is not suggesting the elimination of priests, which would be a rad ical idea at the time, but is rather demonstrating a deeper criticism of Europeans who assume that they are superior and must punish all those who defy this idea.Although Oreillon and El Dorado are societies completely unlike that of the Europeans in law and culture, they are seen as portraying decent human behavior because they stand their citizens to express free will and they derive authority from the consent of the masses. For instance, in Oreillon, women are allowed to mate with whomever they enthrall without judgement or persecution from others. This freedom of expression illustrates that the culture seeks to facilitate the happiness of its people. Additionally, when the two monkeys are bump off by Candide, the leaders instantly capture and attempt to punish the travelers, reflecting the societys dedication to support its citizens from harm and condemn those who impinge on basic freedoms.While this culture may seem uncommon compared to more civilized nations, the fact th at it derives its authority from the people illustrates that bestiality and cannibalism are enforced as appropriate human behaviors so long as there is a general consensus. Similarly, good behavior does not necessarily need to be derived from praise towards the king or daily sacrifices to a church, as visualised in Eldorado. Unlike in Europe, the king is humble, approachable and genuinely concerned with the welfare of his citizens. For example, the feast the travelers desolate at the inn is free because the state is said to assist business, thus revealing that the government is unbidden to contribute to the success of its people despite their class or wealth. Therefore, despite their practices, these societies emulate good behavior.However, Voltaire forms a critic of the Europeans due to the unjust practices in which they derive and maintain authority. In Candides hometown of Westphalia, for example, the naive Candide is exiled from the stronghold of the Thunder-ten-tronckh beca use he kissed the Barons daughter, Cunegonde. He was unfairly punished because he stepped out of the social hierarchy to which he was born, while Cunegonde was not disciplined for her actions due to her rank. Similarly, in places like Paris, the elites haughtily criticize their crack mans creations and do not hesitate to manipulate and greedily conspire against others.When Candide is led into a ploy by the despicable Abbe and arrested even though he had not commit any detestations, he is able to buy his freedom with three diamonds. The officer then exclaims, Ah sire, even if you committed every crime imaginable, youre still the best man in the world (97). Ones fate depends on the inconsiderate word of the elite, ones wealth, and the act of bribery. Since Candide had money, he was able to secure his freedom while the majority of peasants who are near penniless would have to suffer. These scenarios represent the unjust rule of the elites over the consensus of the majority.While Vol taire formulates the components of good behavior based on the legitimacy the authority derives from its citizens, he also constitutes bad behavior as punishment without just cause. For instance, when Candide and Martin arrive in Portsmouth, they view the execution of a British full admiral. The Admirals crime was explained in that he had stayed too far from the French enemy and that his death would encourage others to fight more fervently during war. This nonsensical behavior represents the paradox of European punishments which reduce war heros to criminals. some other such scene is presented when Candide and Pangloss reach the city of Lisbon in which a haphazard earthquake kills cardinal thousand people. Faculty of a university decide that, in order to prevent another earthquake, they must roast several persons over a slow fireThey had therefore seized a man from the Basque province who had been convicted of marrying the godmother of his godchild, and two Portuguese men, who whe n eating a chicken, had removed the bacon seasoning (52-53). As a manner of electing their sacrifices, they choose those who had committed even questionable disgusts, though even those forms of misconduct can be viewed as unsubstantial exuberant to deserve punishment, much less death. While it is firstly completely unreasonable to attribute a cancel phenomenon to personal actions, Voltaire goes so far as to satirically illustrate that this is a commonsense European belief, for both offenses appear inconsequential to the victims punishment.Meanwhile, most Europeans would be disgusted with the culture of the Oreillons who engage in cannibalism after enacting a punishment. However, Candides death penalty after murdering two of its citizens is a much more equitable offense in terms of its punishment than removing bacon seasoning from chicken, such as in Europe. Furthermore, once a body has been burnt, it seems inconsequential whether it is eaten or not. Voltaire is thus able to portr ay the irony as well as the unjust nature of European punishments as a bad behavior of society.The figures of the time who would be most notably perturbed by Voltaires suggestions constitute the royalty, the nobility, and the clergy. Firstly, for centuries the royalty had uncontestedly derived authority through lineage and from claims to divine right. Candides acquire with the King of Eldorado would probably be perceived as strange because the royalty was considered far higher up the common people in class, stature, and rights, and thus did not need the consent of its citizens to govern. Thus, the monarchy would be opposed to Voltaires ideas because they undermine his authority. This is reflected in eighteenth century Europe when the National Assembly made a radical move by sending Louis XVI to the guillotine as a symbol of the growing dissatisfaction of the peasants and workers.Secondly, the nobility consisted of a small number of elites who mainly derived their elevated status f rom patronage. Voltaires view of this social class, at least in Paris, is illustrated in the abode of Marquise de Parolignac, in which these morose intellectuals portray that their sole interests are to spread slander, hypocritically belittle art, and greedily take advantage of Candides treasures. Similarly to the monarchy, Voltaires proffer that societys values and laws should be supported by the consensus of the masses was a scandalous assertion because it would undermine the power of the elites and force them to surrender their privilege.Finally, the clergys word penetrated all aspects of life in eighteenth century Europe while Religious Orthodoxy formed local allegiances and bound communities together by discussion sacred traditions. However, it can also be said that the institutions of the church hypocritically valued their own self-preservation over educating the masses. Therefore, these religious authorities would not consent in being forced to adhere to stricter laws by hav ing to open up proper, legitimate reasons as a means to punish nonbelievers or delinquents of the church. Despite these opponents, Voltaire suggests a need for reform by deriving authority from somewhere other than the norm.Although European society appears far more mod than that of the savages and more structured than Eldorado, that does not necessarily determine that its laws and people are superior. In fact, Voltaire constitutes good behavior in a society as something that has been consented upon by its people, while bad behavior derives from unjust punishment and the dangerous rule of elites. Voltaire thus forms a critic of Europeans through comparisons to these foreign lands and furthermore questions whether a reformation of authority is a necessary means to benefit society.SourceVoltaire. Candide. Boston Bedford/St. Martins, 1999.