El Dorado vs. The World

Length: 2 Pages 512 Words

“Candide”, a satire dealing with the author’s dislike of the optimistic era in which he lived, tells of the doleful trials faced by the story’s protagonist Candide. Voltaire abhors the actions taken by his fellow man and writes to try and evoke change; however, the outcries fell on deaf ears for the people were optimistic and whatever happened, happened for the best. Voltaire uses “Candide” as his microphone and models the piece’s world after both the problem and possible route to the alleviation of mankind’s flaws. One can say that the populace exhibits the short comings of the world, and El Dorado functions as the better potential path that if followed would alter the world for the better. Voltaire’s experiences in life led him to belie Continue...


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"Candide serves as the prime example of all of the miseries of the earth. For instance, after an earthquake destroys Lisbon, Portugal, the people have an Auto-da-fe simply because a university decides that "burning a few people...is an infallible secret to hinder the earth from quaking (13). For example, when Candide asks the old man how they pray to their God, and the old man replies, "We do not pray to him, we have nothing to ask of Him. Voltaire's satirical world illustrates the many tribulations of man. ve that the world faced a terrible end if it continued onward at its present state. Ironically enough, a heretic serves as the only form of charity for Candide. El Dorado serves as the ideal welfare state, everyone has his own opinion and everyone lives with content. Instead, he wishes to show the faults of optimism. Of course that example pales in comparison to a religious authority lambasting Candide for his indecision on whether to be for or against the Pope. Another example of the absence of indulgence commonplace in Voltaire's object of satire occurs when Candide meets the king for the first time and asks how he should greet him; the officer replies, "The custom is to embrace the king and to kiss him on each cheek. Greed seems not to exist in El Dorado. Voltaire did not want to make himself out as a messiah come to save the world from its inevitable destruction. Voltaire does not believe that he has a solution for the world's troubles.