Satire is a form of literature which can be found in the graphic and performing arts. It is normally meant to attack the vices, follies, and abuses which are common for a particular person, people or the society at large with the intention of shaming them and hence improving their characters. It is characterized by irony and sarcasm so as to have the message communicated. I, therefore, think that the Voltaire’s Candide is a satire since it embraces these elements. It targets to ridicule the misleading philosophy of optimism and the many varied vices within the society. These vices include the injustices caused by the religious clergy and the military actions against other people, sexual exploitation, and wars which occurred within the European society in the 18th century (Voltaire 3).
Voltaire’s Candide criticizes the philosophy of optimism by Leibniz which says that whatever the world provides is the best of all the possible options and that anything that happens, happens for the best. He does this by posting a contrary opinion that such a philosophy could only make things stagnant as people would not be bothered to work towards changing the world. He emphasizes this at the end of the story when Candide and his companions resorted to cultivating land in order to live happily and make the world a better place for themselves (Voltaire 4).
Another criticism is on the military that are very ruthless towards common people; they mistreat and kill people without a reason. For instance, Candide is forced into military training where he is mistreated by his superiors. He further criticizes the religious leaders and the clergy whom he portrays using their positions to benefit at the expense of others. He illustrated this by portraying a young Baron living a luxurious life among the Jesuit priests only to discover that it was just an avenue by the clergy to pilfering the natives’ resources. Moreover, Candide had to quit the military at one point and run to religious people hoping for the best; instead, he meets other injustices like killing of human beings for sacrifices (Voltaire 10).
In conclusion, satire remains a good way of criticizing the vices of the society’s activities since it helps enlighten those who cannot witness injustice.