There are other examples of how Voltaire uses satire. A passage at the beginning of chapter three clearly shows how Voltaire
combines satire and war.
"Never was anything so gallant, so well accoutred, so brilliant, and so finely disposed as the two armies. The trumpets,
fifes, hautboys, drums, and cannon made such harmony as never was heard in Hell itself. The entertainment began by a discharge
of cannon, which, in the twinkling of an eye, laid flat about 6,000 men on each side. The musket bullets swept away, out of
the best of all possible worlds, nine or ten thousand scoundrels that infested its surface. The bayonet was next the sufficient
reason of the deaths of several thousands. The whole might amount to thirty thousand souls. (Candide Chapter 3 1)"
This passage is another example of satire, in which Voltaire is satirizing war. He primarily uses exaggeration, since
"in the twinkling of an eye, laid flat about 6,000 men." As can be clearly discerned from this passage, Voltaire
thought that war was very foolish. The statement about harmonious weaponry juxtaposes war and Hell, comparing the two. The
fact that the cannons killed 6,000 men off of the opening shots is an example of the wastefulness of war. The last line,
that perhaps 30,000 men died, is an example of the exaggeration that shows that innocents are dying for no real purpose.
The last major element of Candide is imagery. In almost every chapter, Voltaire uses such vivid imagery that it makes the
reader envision the exact scene. This helps Voltaire emphasize his points and his satire. By using better descriptions and
imagery, the readers can better envision what events are taking place, and therefore can be more influenced by the points
Voltaire is trying to make.
At one point in chapter two, "One fine spring morning, he took it into his head to take a walk, and he marched straight
forward, conceiving it to be a privilege of the human species, as well as of the brute creation, to make use of their legs
how and when they pleased. He had not gone above two leagues when he was overtaken by four other heroes, six feet high, who
bound him neck and heels, and carried him to a dungeon. A courtmartial sat upon him, and he was asked which he liked better,
to run the gauntlet six and thirty times through the whole regiment, or to have his brains blown out with a dozen musket-balls?
(Candide Chapter 2 1)"
Voltaire is using imagery to satirize the foolishness of war and the army. By using vivid descriptions, the reader can
imagine exactly what is going on, exactly what things are like for Candide. In this way, they sympathize with his plight,
and recognize the foolishness that Candide never got to explain himself. Using this imagery, Voltaire can better prove his
Other strong imagery follows. "Candide was flogged to some tune, while the anthem was being sung; the Biscayan and
the two men who would not eat bacon were burned, and Pangloss was hanged, which is not a common custom at these solemnities.
The same day there was another earthquake, which made most dreadful havoc.
Candide, amazed, terrified, confounded, astonished, all bloody, and trembling from head to foot, said to himself, "If
this is the best of all possible worlds, what are the others? If I had only been whipped, I could have put up with it, as
I did among the Bulgarians; but, not withstanding, oh my dear Pangloss! my beloved master! thou greatest of philosophers!
that ever I should live to see thee hanged, without knowing for what! O my dear Anabaptist, thou best of men, that it should
be thy fate to be drowned in the very harbor! O Miss Cunegund, you mirror of young ladies! that it should be your fate to
have your body ripped open!" (Candide Chapter 6 1)"
This strong imagery and the speech from Candide allows the reader to sympathize with Candide. The imagery allows the
reader to imagine the earthquake, see Candide being whipped, and understand his horror after Pangloss got hanged. This helps
emphasize Voltaire's point that optimism is foolish. It also shows that this is clearly not the best of all possible worlds.
All this imagery helps Voltaire get his points across to the reader.
The last main example of imagery occurs when Candide visits the Utopian society in El Dorado. "They entered a very
plain house, for the door was nothing but silver, and the ceiling was only of beaten gold, but wrought in such elegant taste
as to vie with the richest. The antechamber, indeed, was only incrusted with rubies and emeralds; but the order in which everything
was disposed made amends for this great simplicity. (Candide Chapter 18 1)"
This description produces many results. It aids in the satire of the unnoticed wealth of the society. It helps the reader
envision what the country is like, and how overwhelmed Candide must be. Primarily, it helps the readers familiarize themselves
with the Utopian society. It allows for a better understanding of the Utopian society. Throughout the novel, the use of all
this imagery definitely helps Voltaire stress his points and some of the main themes.