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Candide Essay Essay

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Andrew Wilson
Dr. Williams
English 121
10 March 2015
The Lame Leading the Blind
Leaders are the most important people in our society. They are the ones who are supposed to lead us to betterment by their example. In his novella, Candide, Voltaire uses the direct characterization of some powerful religious leaders of the 18th Century to target a serious flaw in the religious status quo. He highlights the blatant hypocrisy of powerful and oppressive religious leaders, in an effort to enlighten members of the church and discredit major religions as a viable or sanctified institution to follow. He effectively orchestrates his argument by exposing the horrible offenses being committed by ordained Church leaders, such as The Pope, The Franciscan Priest, and The Grand Inquisitor. These characters contradict the fundamental Catholic theological morals and laws that they themselves preach, judge, and persecute the Church’s members based on.

Voltaire introduces the Old Woman to the readers in order to shed light on the hypocrisy of the Pope and the Franciscan Priest. In sharing her life story with Candide and Cunegonde, the Old Woman says, “’I am the daughter of Pope Ur...

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