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Word Count: 1,952
Out of severe poverty oppressive monarchies and religious persecution came a radical philosophical revolution known as The Enlightenment This Age of Reason swept through Europe offering differing views on science religion and politics France was particularly affected by the ideas produced during the Enlightenment by means of many great philosophers such as Rousseau Descartes and Voltaire Voltaire wrote one of the most influential and renowned novels during this period that challenged not only political paradigm but social institutions as well In the novel Candide the famous French philosopher of the Enlightenment era Voltaire expresses his views about society and the belief that the separation of class hypocrisy of organized religion rampant materialism lack of Free Will and deficiency of compassion for others all contributed to the lack of human liberty in the eighteenth century Throughout history there has always been a separation of the classes in almost all societies and during the seventeen hundreds people began to protest and even rebel against the idea of nobility and aristocracy Voltaire alludes to the negative aspects of class separation and has it negatively affect Candide throughout the novel In his early childhood Candide is troubled by not being born a privileged noble Voltaire citing that He decided that the height of good fortune was to have been born Baron Thunder-ten-Tronckh showing Candides aspirations to become socially elevated 20 The most prominent example of social classes is the relationship between Candide and Cunegonde throughout the book Candide is chastised for loving Cunegonde The reaction of Cunegondes brother when Candide suggests marriage is that of offense and a feeling that the union of the two would be a transgression The young Baron scolding you have the impudence to think of marrying my sister who has seventy-two quarterings in her coat of arms and you dare to talk to me of such a hot headed notion 67 A belief of this kind would be very common among the higher class
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