The principles of satire and humor in candide by voltaire

Friedrich noted in his family journal: On Sunday 21 June [ NS: He was given free access to it from the age of seven.

The principles of satire and humor in candide by voltaire

Satire may be defined as the particular literary way of making possible the improvement of humanity and its institutions. The satirist adopts a critical attitude and usually presents his material with wit and humor.

Aware of grave limitations in the institutions which humanity has erected, he may seek through laughter to effect a remodeling rather than the demolishing of them.

Voltaire is to be identified as such a satirist, and he sought a most thorough-going remodeling of human behavior and institutions. Basically satire is of two kinds: To put it another way, one may say that Horatian satire sports with folly, and that Juvenalian satire attacks crimes or at least offenses deemed to be anti-social.

Obviously the latter type, if it invites laughter at all, invites scornful laughter. Both types of satire are found in Candide. Usually the writer sets down words of praise to imply blame, and words of blame to imply praise, the former practice being more common.

As a literary device, irony is effective because it calls for restraint.

Satire and Irony

The satirist who depends upon it never descends to railing or to sarcasm; he expects his audience to get the point. One can understand why Thierot lauded Voltaire as the "most excellent author of quips and jests" and that both Baron Grimm and Mme.

First in importance, to be sure, is philosophical optimism; others include religion, kings and the State, war, avarice, social pride, and folly of one kind or another. In the moral order, dishonesty, sham, prostitution, and all the grave and petty inhumanities of man against man are assailed, just as in the natural order disease, cataclysms, and malformations are.

For his purpose Voltaire depended especially upon exaggeration, but he also used the contrasting device of understatement, often in the form of litotes, which is understatement whereby something is affirmed by stating the negative of its opposite — a common device in ironic expression.

Related to it is euphemism, a figure of speech in which an indirect statement is substituted for a direct one. Euphemistic terms have been used by many writers to avoid bluntness or offense, but they reveal a tendency to be insincere and sentimental.

Voltaire used them ironically with fine comic effect to advance his satire of injustice, crime, and folly. Caricature and parody, ways in which the author exaggerated details of one sort or another for the same purpose, also must be noticed. He opposed gross absurdity with absurdity — the doctrine repeatedly voiced by Pangloss and echoed by his disciples versus the conclusions to be drawn from the fantastic experiences which are recorded.

The superlative is dominant from the very beginning. Life at the castle of Thunder-ten-tronckh is utopian, a life of perfect happiness. It is a "most beautiful castle. Pangloss is presented as an oracle, the wisest philosopher in the realm. Already the absurd is opposed to the absurd.

We learn that this most beautiful and agreeable of all possible castles, as Voltaire calls it in the last sentence in the chapter, is crude enough, what with its one door and window and its one tapestry. The baroness is obese; the baron obviously a primitive character.

But all this exaggeration, all the superlatives prepare the reader for the dire events which are to follow. The author used a variety of forms to oppose Optimism. The formula "best of all possible worlds" appears again and again only to be refuted with satiric and ironic sting.

One of these forms involves a type of understatement. Candide is master of it — inadvertently so.LETTER I. By your permission I lay before you, in a series of letters, the results of my researches upon beauty and art.

The principles of satire and humor in candide by voltaire

I am keenly sensible of the importance as . Candide is widely thought to be Voltaire’s sarcastic retort to Leibniz. In this quotation, Voltaire attacks not only philosophical optimism but also the foibles and errors of Enlightenment philosophy.

Enlightenment philosophers such as Leibniz focused a great deal of attention on the interplay of cause and effect. Pangloss’s argument about. Seeing as this is an English course, the second aim will be to develop skills necessary for students to be effective readers and writers.

The cultivation of these abilities will not only aid students in their exploration of violence in literature, but in any other analytical work they may need to do in the future.

Voltaire Exposes the Fallacy of Optimism in Candide - Voltaire was the French author of the novella Candide, also known as "Optimism" (Durant and Durant ).

Spelling. Voltaire disaster attacks the principles of satire and humor in candide by voltaire Pope's principle that all that is.

The principles of satire and humor in candide by voltaire

The main method of Candide's satire is to contrast ironically great tragedy and comedy. citing Voltaire's negative descriptions of Martin's principles and the conclusion of the work in which Martin plays little part.

It was at least partly based on Voltaire's Candide.

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