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Ranges of Satire in Candide

            Francois-Marie Arouet De Voltaire's most classic work, Candide, is a satiric assault on most everything that was prevalent in society during the author's lifetime. In Candide, Voltaire offers the reader characters that partake in extremely exaggerated and outlandish events. Portrayal of these melodramatic events act as a form of satire, which Voltaire epitomizes throughout his reflections in Candide. Satire is a means for ridiculing something or someone in order to discredit it. Satire allows Voltaire to criticize through humor. As a result, instead of normal comedies which analyze the faults or weaknesses of its characters, Voltaire tries to make them as ridiculous as possible. Through emphasizing the absurdity of a situation or one of the characters, satire almost adequately displays cruelty. Voltaire applies satire as a means of pointing out this cruelty and making it seem intolerable to the reader. Although many of Voltaire's ideas are exaggerated, he still provides some conceptual ones, which together provide a distinct outlook on life. Voltaire satirizes many points in Candide such as philosophy, war, and religion. Furthermore, he offers real historical events that reveal this style. The satirical style Voltaire chooses to implicate is used frequently in many literary works, especially of those in Voltaire's time. Although Voltaire's use of satire may seem excessive at times, he still manages to accomplish a credible story which rationalizes order and ultimately, self-gratification. Perhaps the most significant reflection Voltaire satirizes is the philosophical optimism of Baron Gottfried Wilhelm Von Leibniz, a very popular and sought-after German philosopher. Candide mocks Leibniz's beliefs in the form of Dr. Pangloss's visitation and optimistic belief that "everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds." In the story, irrational ideas are taught to the main character, Candide, about optimism versus the reality of the rest of the world.

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