Voltaire's Candide (Blake and Kazin Term Paper

Pages: 3 (1177 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

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This is in direct contradiction to the vows of poverty taken by those in that religious order -- the thievery notwithstanding. Voltaire also introduces a Jesuit colonel who has homosexual tendencies, but primarily because these tendencies border on pederast behavior. The narrative winds through Paraguay where we are met with the infamous slice of history, that of the Conquistadors. (Caddy, 1991) These rulers and colonialists destroyed most of original South American culture in the hope of spreading Catholicism "We shall give the King of Spain's troops a warm reception." (p. 199, Voltaire) They also brought diseases for which the natives had no immunity. There are several instances where the religious carried out inhumane campaigns of religious oppression against those who did not strictly follow the so called divine edicts. It is important to remember that Voltaire condemns the religious when they misuse the name of God. He does not condemn God or the common believer.

The hypocrisy of the religious is also condemned by Blake. He abhors the Church's dualism. (Hirsch, 1975) In "Innocence and Experience," he shows that the human soul is multidimensional. Innocence and experiences cannot be separated. He seeks to unify these two aspects. Blake shows that if only innocence were chosen, a person would open him (her) self to mockery. Innocence does not have reality. It is fanciful but blind. But to reject innocence in favor of experience is to lay oneself open to the loss of freshness in attitude. It would make a person spiritless and repression, spiritlessness and materialism.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Voltaire's Candide (Blake and Kazin, Assignment

Instances from the Songs of Innocence show how faith in God without realism is detrimental to the common man. Blake admonishes not to see life from rose colored glasses. In the "Little Boy Found (p. 86, Blake)" "Led by wandr'ing light... But God ever nigh." In "The Divine Image," (p. 91, Blake) people have been asked to merely pray and their distress will melt away." The obduracy of life is then highlighted in "Songs of Experience." In "The Garden of Love" (p. 111, Blake) "... And Priests in black gowns... binding with briars, my joys and desires." In "Experience," "The Little Boy Lost" (p. 89, Blake) takes on tones of panic and tragedy..." The weeping child could not be heard.. The weeping parents wept in vain." In "Innocence," everything is wonderful. All ills are born away as if by magic. In "Experience," everything smells of gloom and death. There is no salvation. Blake rejects the notion of the church where fundamentals of life are accepted. He also rejects the Church's notion that religion is the panacea for all ills. Blake does counsel faith in God; but he also cautions approaching life with the joy of innocence but with a sense of the real.

Voltaire and Blake have exposed the hypocrisy of the Church and their leaders. They show that true religion does not come in the form of trappings or heavy-handedness. It comes from true love and the recognition of all humans as God's children, in equal measure.

Bibliography

Blake, William, and Alfred Kazin. "Songs of Innocence and of Experience." The Portable Blake: Selected and Arranged with an Introduction by Alfred Kazin. Ed. Alfred Kazin. New York: Penguin Books, 1976. 83-118.

Caddy, Caroline. Conquistadors. The Australian Poetry Series. Ringwood, Vic., Australia; New York, N.Y.: Penguin Books assisted by the Literature Board of the Australia Council, 1991.

Hirsch, E.D. Innocence and Experience: An Introduction to Blake. 2d ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975.

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