François-Marie Arouet was born in 1694, in Paris, France. He later adopted the pen name Voltaire after he became a well-published author. Voltaire’s mother died when he was 7, and his main role model was his godfather, who was a free thinker, and inspired Voltaire to become into who he turned out to be (Tejvan, 2013).
Voltaire went to college at Lycée Louis-le-Grand, where he studied law. He attended the college for 7 years, where he was taught Latin, theology, and rhetoric (Pomeau, 2017). Later on in life, he became fluent in three languages, English, Spanish, and Italian. He later quit this field after graduating and went on to pursue literature, which was against the will of his father. Voltaire went on to pretend to work in Paris as an assistant where he actually spent a large portion of his time writing poetry. His father soon found out, and sent Voltaire back to study law. He was sent to Caen, Normandy. Voltaire still worked against his father’s wishes as he continued to write poetry, started producing essays, and historical studies.
He later got caught having an affair with a French Protestant refugee. This was considered very scandalous and Voltaire was forced to come back to France, once again.Most of Voltaire’s early life was spent in Paris. He continued his literary work and earned a bad reputation with the authorities and government. This resulted in him being sent to prison twice and even being exiled to England. The reason for this being him writing about the Duke having an incestuous relation with his daughter (Pomeau, 2017). He went on to write plays, which were immediate successes and he was given Medals to appreciate his work.Voltaire was for freedom of thought, and religious tolerance.
He campaigned to end aristocratic monarchical rule, and supported a monarchy which gave and protected the people’s rights (Tejvan, 2013). One of Voltaire’s most recognized works, Candide shows the rationale and ideals of which Voltaire represented. Candide, one of Voltaire’s most famous works, if not his most popular is a satirical work of fiction which progresses through a fast pace and is very erratic.
Candide is a work of fiction which tells the tale of a man named Candide, who is born and raised in a country mansion of his uncle, a baron. He has a relationship with his cousin and is banished. This causes complications and leads to a series of unfortunate events. During this journey, he sees the Baron be killed, and Candide abandons philosophy and instead vows for hard work. Candide returns and marries his cousin, Cunegonde, moves into a small farm where they and their friends live in.Voltaire ridicules religion, governments, and philosophies through allegory, which led the book to be banned in many places.