Candide : Analysis of the Writing Style of the Novel

      In Candide, Voltaire uses many writing techniques which can also
be found in the works of Cervantes, Alighieri, Rabelais and Moliere.
The use of the various styles and conventions shows that, despite the
passage of centuries and the language differences, certain writing
techniques will always be effective.

      One common literary technique is the author's use of one or more
of his characters as his 'voice' to speak out the authors views on a
certain subject. For instance, in Moliere's Tartuffe, the author uses
the character of Cleante to speak out against religious hypocrites
(page 1419, lines 99-102):

Nothing that I more cherish and admire
Than honest zeal and true religious fire.
So there is nothing that I find more base
Than specious piety's dishonest face.

In Candide, Voltaire makes use of several characters to voice his
opinion mocking philosophical optimism. On page 1594, Candide is
asking a gentleman about whether everything is for the best in the
physical world as well as the moral universe. The man replies:

...I believe nothing of the sort. I find that everything goes wrong in
our world; that nobody knows his place in society or his
duty, what he's doing or what he ought to be doing, and that outside
of mealtimes...the rest of the day is spent in useless
quarrels...-it's one unending warfare.

      By having this character take on such a pessimistic tone, he
directly contradicts the obviously over-optimistic tone of Candide.
In the conclusion (page 1617) an old turk instructs Candide in the
futility of needless philosophizing by saying that "...the work
keeps us from three great evils, boredom, vice, and poverty." In each
of these examples, the character chosen by the author comes across as
a reasonable and respectable person, making the author's point of view
seem just as reasonable and respectable.

      Another technique Voltaire uses in Candide is that of taking
actual people and...