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Mishaps Of Greed Essay

1466 words - 6 pages

The story Candide written by Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire is an amazing novella that exploits many of the world's problems through clever use of satire. If viewed one way it may seem to be mean yet humorous. Instructive and satiric is another this story can be viewed. Voltaire uses many satires in this work such as greed, pride, ignorance, cruelty, and religion. One of the most outstanding satires that take place in Candide is greed. Voltaire has many examples of greed in this story, not only through Candide, but the many people that he encounters on his travels to find contentment. Candide quickly learns that even though money and greed may seem to make a person happy and prosperous ...view middle of the document...

I think that Voltaire uses this to point out that when a person commits a crime and gets caught, he is very likely to tell on someone else to get him or her in trouble as well.A third example of greed can be read in "The Old Woman's story Continued". She tells her tale of how she was left for death in a stack of corpses, somehow regains strength and crawls to rest under a tree. There she is awaked by an attractive white man who is in awe at her beauty besides her wounds. He pretends to be her friend and takes her into his home to nurse her. While exchanging stories of the past she learns that he was the man who raised her until she was six years of age. When she was well he told her that he would take her back to Italy on his way to Ceuta. However he does not follow through on his word for instead of taking her back he sells her to the dey of Algiers. I have no doubt that he would have raped her as well if he had not lost his testicles when he was young. Voltaire uses this to show the greed that can be hiding in a so-called friendship. A person may act as a friend toward another only to gain something, in this case money from the sale.The next greedy act is committed by Candide and Cacambo. When they are in Eldorado they fill their pockets with gold and diamonds. Then they decide to leave they Dolan 3 take advantage of the ignorance of the people and take with them a dozen sheep that have been loaded with diamonds and gold. The people of Eldorado do not understand why they are taking these things because to them it is simply just mud and pebbles. To be fair and not so greedy, Candide should have explained to them how valuable these things were and left them something in return. I think that Voltaire's message is to show that knowledgeable people can and will take advantage of others just because they do not know any better.The fifth example of greed and dishonesty is shown when Candide tries to get passage on a ship going to Italy. Candide asks Mr. Vanderdendur how much he would charge to take him, his servants, his luggage and, two sheep on the ship to Italy. At first Vanderdendur gives him the price of ten thousand piastres. Candide agrees to this price very quickly. Vanderdendur thinks this odd and a few moments later tells Candide he was wrong and the price is actually twenty thousand piastres. Again Candide agrees very quickly without thinking it through. Vanderdendur takes note of this and raises the price a second time to thirty thousand piastres. Candide does not even cringe so Vanerdendur is sure that his sheep and bags are loaded with treasures. Vanderdendur first brings the sheep aboard and tells...

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