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

hyperbole: exaggeration (representing something bigger, greater, or more important)

"The Baron's lady weighed about three hundred and fifty pounds..." (pg.1)

This is an example of a hyperbole because of the exaggerated weight. It's representing the Baron's lady's fat, big body with a larger weight than what she really is. She would not really weigh three hundred and fifty pounds. Voltaire is satirizing the Baron's lady's looks with exaggeration.

"...was therefore a person of great consideration" (pg.1)

This is also an hyperbole of the Baron's lady because Voltaire is actually telling us the Baron's lady's lack of thoughts but he is exaggerating it to having great consideration. Voltaire is satirizing how the Baron's lady's wealth makes her into a incautious person.

allusion: making reference to an outside topic such as work of art, a place, an event to

"I find that I shall be the only happy man when I am blessed with the sight of my dear Cunegonde." (pg.73)

Candide mentions that he is a happy man with his hopes of seeing Cunegonde, when he sees Count Pococurante unsatisfied even with his wealth and artworks. This is an allusion because the readers are drawn back to Voltaire's ideas which satirizes optimism, and we make a connection between the two. Voltaire is once again trying to mock the idea of optimism by showing us the endless avarice of Count Pococurante.

"Whirlwinds of fire and shes covered the streets and public places; houses fell, roofs were flung upon the pavements, and the pavements were scattered." (pg.10)

This is an allusion because it is a reference made to the real earthquake o Lisbon which happened on the first of November, 1755. Voltaire is satirizing optimism because he is mocking the idea of the world being the best of all possible worlds. If it was the best world, a disaster like this would not have happened to the people, and massive number of people would not have died.

parody: imitating or mimicking the style of a certain text, picture, song in a humorous way

"It is demonstrable that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for all being created for an end, all is necessary for the best end." (pg.1)

Pangloss was a person with great optimism, and he believed that the this world was the best of all possible worlds. However, it wasn't Pangloss who first came up with this idea. Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz was a philosopher who is still remembered for his optimism. Voltaire had parodied his ideas of optimism into Pangloss's thoughts, and made Candide mock his ideas. "'What is optimism?' said Cacambo. 'Alas!' said Candide, 'it is the madness of maintaining that everything is right when it is wrong.''' (pg.49) In this conversation, Candide renounces his belief in Pangloss's ideas of optimism after seeing a terrible scene of a slave with a missing arm and leg. In result, Voltaire had satirized Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz's idea of optimism.

"But is there not a pleasure in criticizing everything, in pointing out faults where others see nothing but beauties? " (pg. 73)

Candide explains his thoughts about criticizing, how fun it is. This shows that "Candide" is a parody of Bildungsroman. Candide parodies Bildungsroman's criticisms of romance and adventure. Voltaire satires the idea of love, adventure with a parody to Bildungsroman.

oxymoron: combining two opposite words

'heroic butchery" (pg.5)

It is an oxymoron because these two terms have opposite meanings from each other. Heroic is to be brave and admired by other people. However, butchery is to kill a large number of people which will lead to others despising him/her. Voltaire was satirizing how fast the two armies killed the large amount of people. The skills were amazing and astonishing but it was "killing" after all.

"some pleasure in having no pleasure."(pg.73)

It is an example of an oxymoron because of the two opposite meanings in this phrase. Having some pleasure is to feel happy and to have satisfaction. On the other hand, having no pleasure is a feeling of annoyance. Voltaire is satirizing people's endless greed and how they complain even with the lot of things they possess.

irony: expressing the word with an opposite meaning

"The tender, loving Candide, seeing his beautiful Cunegonde embrowned, with blood-shot eyes, withered neck, wrinkled cheeks, and rough, red arms...She embraced Candide and her brother...and Candide ransomed them both." (pg.82)

This is an irony because Candide explains how Cunegonde became uglier, but he still decides to save her, and marry her. It's awkward how he still loves an ugly woman. Using this irony, I think Voltaire is trying to satirize the blindness of love, and how it makes a person into a fool.

"Master Pangloss, the greatest philosopher of the whole province, and consequently of the whole world." (pg.2)

This is also an example of irony which Voltaire uses. Being the greatest philosopher in the province does not lead to the best in the whole world. It is ironical that Voltaire connects these two phrases. I think Voltaire is trying to satirize Pangloss's actions of pretending to look smart. Pangloss talks as if he knows he knows everything about the world, but it seems like his philosophies are only complicated without much depth.

understatement: representing something smaller, worse, or less important

"Candide wondered why it was that the ace never came to him; but Martin was not at all astonished."(pg.57)

Voltaire makes an understatement about how Martin was not at all astonished. It actually means that Martin was extremely surprised by how the ace never came to him, but Voltaire tries to emphasis this by an understatement. In this example, Voltaire satirizes the greed of people and how they trick other people for their benefit.

"Everything is right, mat be, but I declare it is very hard to have lost Miss Cunegonde and to be put upon a spit by Oreillons."(pg.38)

This is another example of an understatement where it shows the Candide's great despair. Candide says that everything is right, and it's just hard to believe. However, he actually has no hope, and is extremely depressed. Voltaire satirizes optimism, and how the world is not he best of all possible worlds. All the tragedies come to Candide at one, and he falls in great despair.