Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Satire used to break free from the convention

As we looked at last semester, Voltaire’s Candide has been placed on the list of banned books over the years, and even banned from certain countries. This banning only helps strengthen my perspective on how influential this novella can be to ones self journey. Candide story travels through many events, emotions, and sticky situations, but Voltaire’s philosophical mind helps direct the individual to diverge from the convention.

Voltaire uses humor to shine light on the dark situations. As Voltaire tells a story, he touches upon the convention of the church (or any convention). Although he pokes fun of the church, Voltaire’s writing does not place humor in believing (just in blindly going along with the convention). His story of Candide, demonstrates a satirical way of looking at life. By exaggerating everything Voltaire demonstrates this sense that the over exaggeration demonstrates the inability to actually obtain.

Voltaire’s satire is found within the impossible, and within the idea of everything being perfect. By using sarcasm/satire Voltaire stresses the irony found within the needs of society and the idea of the ‘best’ or the ‘biggest’. His exaggeration sometimes may place you in an uncomfortable situation, but that is exactly what it’s supposed to do, make you reevaluated what/why you believe.

Voltaire leaves you to formulate more questions on your own, to really dig and see where you find truth. His work promotes his readers to look into absurdities found within the story line, and question why certain things are funny, and why others are not. By using satire Voltaire allows for a sense of breathing space, where the reader can side with him on one topic and completely disagree on another. By doing this Voltaire provides a perfect example of thinking for oneself.

The concept of having your own opinion and believes seems to be at the focal point of Voltaire’s Candide. Voltaire provides his readers with a multitude of entry points, allowing his reader to form a relationship with Candide and his journey of finding self. Overall I feel that the sense of humor and whit found in Candide is a very strong instrument demonstrating the idea of breaking away from the convention, and continuing on the path to self-discovery.

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