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How does one of the minor characters in Candide act as a spokeman for Voltaire's...

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together4e | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted January 29, 2012 at 5:29 AM via web

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How does one of the minor characters in Candide act as a spokeman for Voltaire's complaints about French politics, society, and culture in the early 18th century?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 29, 2012 at 6:37 AM (Answer #1)

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Because Voltaire’s Candide is a satire, most of the critique is indirect. Rather than having a single character that is a spokesperson, beliefs are often satirized by situational incongruities or reductio ad absurdum, so that, for example Pangloss serves to critique Leibniz’s philosophy of optimism. The pessimistic philosopher Martin, of the characters in the work, most closely approximates a direct critique, as he expresses negative and pessimistic interpretations of the events surrounding them, and thus is probably the closest approximation to a spokesperson. Candide, at the end of the work, moves from a character whose situations serve as critique to voicing explicit criticisms.

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