The Novel Candide Voltaire

Topics: Candide

Candide Voltaire is no doubt a satirist, and in Candide, he takes the opportunity to attack many valued ideals of his time including the many different religions that existed. It is no coincidence that the only religious person who is shown in a positive light is James the Anabaptist. Both Candide and the Anabaptist underwent religious persecution by the Christians, who were supposed to have good virtues and morals.

In the end, the Anabaptist was portrayed as heroic and selfless when he sacrificed his life to save a sailor, who in turn left James to die when James needed the help of the sailor.

When Voltaire writes, “The ship split open and everyone perished except Pangloss, Candide and the brutal sailor who had drowned the virtuous Anabaptist; the scoundrel easily swam to land” (26), he is trying to prove that just because someone follows a certain religion that is widely accepted, it does not necessarily make that individual a good person. Voltaire supports this idea throughout the novel by portraying religious figures in a negative light.

For example, at the end of the novel when Candide is finally reunited with all the people that he cared about (Pangloss, Martin, Cacambo, the old woman, and Cunegonde), he was supposed to live a comfortable life with the riches that he acquired in Eldorado, but Voltaire writes, “He had been so cheated by the Jews that he had nothing left but his little farm” (110). The Jews are described as having swindled Candide out of his riches; however this was definitely intentional on Voltaire’s part because by accusing religious individuals of being conniving and manipulative he proves that even devout individuals do not follow the moral code of their religion that they claim to believe in and uphold.

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The Novel Candide Voltaire. (2022, Mar 03). Retrieved from

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