Literary Devices used in Satire

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Literary Devices used in Satire by Mind Map: Literary Devices used in Satire

1. Hyperbole

1.1. Exaggeration or a statement that means different from its literary meaning

1.2. "But the extremes of hunger to which they were reduced forced them to eat out two eunuchs, rather than violate their oath. A few days later they resolved toe at the women-folk." (p 30)

1.2.1. Even though most or all of the details about the sufferings of women and slaves in Candide were true from the time of Voltaire, the old woman's story seemed exaggerated. I thought this way because it wasn't very reasonable for one person to experience all these miseries of the time of the war and confusion of people although a person could have experienced one of them maybe. However, I can understand that Voltaire wanted to show the situations of other people's lives and the poor, unpleasant conditions of them by the old woman.

1.2.2. Voltaire satirized the savageness and natural instincts of human beings that show at times when the situation is very bad especially when with hunger.

1.3. "...a hundred or so men on the deck of the sinking vessel...uttering the most fearful was one of Candide's sheep...crime is sometimes punished." (p 57)

1.3.1. In this part of the novel, Voltaire showed a ray of hope for this world, that a guilty person is sometimes punished for what they've done. However, this seemed exaggerated that the big ship got wrecked, and Martin and Candide could actually find one of their sheep that were stolen again. Although it showed an example of punishment for people who had committed a crime, the exaggeration of the guilty man's outcome seemed too much to be realistic.

1.3.2. Voltaire satirized people's endless greed for more wealth and how they never get satisfied with what they have.

2. Irony

2.1. An unexpected event or situation that often results in humor

2.2. "The shrieks were coming from two quite naked girls...pursued by a pair of apes snapping at their bottoms" (p 39) "...the two girls throw their arms lovingly around the two apes and collapse in tears over their corpses, filling the air with the most pitiful lamentations." (p 40)

2.2.1. When I read this part of the novel, I was greatly confused about the unexpected, but humorous experience of Candide. When the apes were following the two young women, I thought they were attacking them like what Candide thought. However, the truth was that they were lovers, which is an irony, because people don't often marry or fall in love with animals such as apes or monkeys. It was also humorous as Candide was depressed and confused by the fact that he had separated two pairs of lovers by his misunderstanding.

2.2.2. Voltaire satirized people's biased thoughts about marriage partners and people's ignorance of other cultures.

2.3. "...and Pangloss was hanged..." (p 16) "Candide instantly drew his own sword and plunged it up to the hilt in the Jesuit Baron's belly" (p 38)

2.3.1. According to the evidence I have next to this node, Pangloss and the Baron died by being hung and killed by Candide. However, later in the story, Candide found Pangloss and the Baron working on the galley on his way to Constantinople. This was very unexpected as those two characters were the last ones I expected to see in the story again. Also, it was funny how Voltaire made the stories for both Pangloss and the Barons so that they could get saved from being dead; this added on to the fairytale-like mood of the story, where no one dies.

2.3.2. I am not quite sure about what Voltaire satirized by this particular irony, but maybe he wanted to criticize how people have set minds about things that can happen in their lives and give up hope easily.

3. Understatement

3.1. Presentment of something as to be worse or less in value than its original characteristic

3.2. "I should like to know which is worse: to be short, to undergo all the miseries we have each of us suffered - or simply to sit here and do nothing? That is a hard question." (p 91)

3.2.1. In this passage, the old woman asked Candide if it is worse to be bored like they were at their farm or to go through all the miseries, and Candide couldn't answer quickly. This understated the hardships characters in Candide had faced throughout their journeys, which would have been terrible by being raped, beaten, enslaved, and many others. However, I can see how Voltaire wanted to show the pain of boredom by comparing it to the miseries.

3.2.2. Voltaire satirized how people easily forgot about luck and happiness in their lives, but were always unsatisfied with their lives, thinking they are miserable.

3.3. "This fellow parts with twenty thousand piastres as easily as ten." (p 53)

3.3.1. By the vast amount of wealth he could gain from the land of Eldorado, where people don't value jewels as much as people do in other regions, Candide became comfortable at spending a lot of money without thinking much. For instance, he didn't hesitate to pay twice and thrice the original price for the journey to Italy, which understated the value of money for peasants at that time.

3.3.2. Voltaire satirized avarice of people like Vanderdendur and how people can spend money they earned without much effort easily.

4. Allusion

4.1. An expression used to bring something to mind without directly telling

4.2. "Which is to say that there is pleasure in not taking pleasure?" (p 79)

4.2.1. The thoughts and reactions of the nobleman, Pococurante represented the ideal behaviors of people as what Voltaire thought. For example, Pococurante wasn't satisfied with any of the "great" works he owned saying that many other educated men think those works are valuable and like them, but they don't make him happy. This made me think of Voltaire's idea that people should think for themselves instead of just following what others think, which is an enlightened idea. Also, I think Voltaire wanted to say that people should judge a work by its quality, but not the author's reputation.

4.2.2. Voltaire satirized people like Candide in the story who just followed other people's opinions without thinking with their own values set. He wanted people to learn more about enlightened thinking.

4.3. "A mere commoner who is in a position to give a hundred times as much as each of us, and who moreover gives it?" (p 82)

4.3.1. The six kings' sad outcome and their misfortunes made me think of the monarchs who began to lose power in their countries. Also, I thought that the wealth Candide had gained from the land of Eldorado represented the growing power and wealth of the commoners over the countries as there were explorations to the New World and other businesses. Therefore, the ability of Candide to give Thermidore more money than the other kings and his generosity represented the commoners' power.

4.3.2. This part of the novel satirized the kings of that time who started losing their power and couldn't control or rule their countries fairly.

5. Oxymoron

5.1. A type of speech that has two words with opposite meanings with a conjunction between them

5.2. A passer-by who had never been baptized, a good Anabaptist named Jacques, saw the cruel and ignominious logic..." (p 9)

5.2.1. An Anabaptist is a religious person who believes that only an old enough person can be baptized. Therefore, being an Anabaptist who is not baptized is impossible as an old person, who is baptized and thinks only old people can be baptized, are Anabaptist. The two phrases, "Anabaptist" and "had never been baptized" are somewhat contradictory.

5.2.2. Voltaire satirized religious people of the time, who sometimes didn't follow their own religious rules although they stated themselves as devout people.

5.3. "Candide...and concealed himself as best he could for the duration of this heroic butchery." (p 8)

5.3.1. The two words, "heroic" and "butchery" mean two very different things in a way. This is because a person can be heroic when he accomplishes something that helps an organization or a group of people in a positive way, but butchery is killing a large amount of people, which is usually considered to be cruel.

5.3.2. I think Voltaire here satirized the inhumane, cruel actions of people during the wars of the time by emphasizing their actions.

6. Parody

6.1. An imitation of a work in a mocking, humorous way

6.2. "It is demonstrable that things cannot be other than as they are: for, since everything is made to serve an end, everything is necessarily for the best of ends." (p 4)

6.2.1. The optimism of Pangloss is a parody of the optimistic idea of Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz. In the novel, as Pangloss is portrayed as an ignorant, somewhat arrogant philosopher, Voltaire imitates and ridicules the stubborn optimistic idea.

6.2.2. Voltaire satirized the ignorant optimism that didn't fit the world that was full of corruption and suffering. Also, he criticized people like Candid who didn't think by his own experience, but just by what he heard from others.

6.3. "I am giving up on your Optimism after all" (p 52) "...isn't there a pleasure in being critical, in discovering faults where other men think they see excellences?" (p 79)

6.3.1. The novel Candide itself is a parody of a bildungsroman as what I think because it talks about how Candide become more mature and logical throughout his troublesome journey. However, it has many mocking, humorous events and ideas of Voltaire that are explained in the story by symbolism and representation, that parodies a bildungsroman.

6.3.2. Overall in the novel, Voltaire satirized the optimism of Pangloss and Candide, but also put in his thoughts about enlightened thinking and how people shouldn't depend on others to make their own decisions.