Voltaire was a versatile and prolific writer, producing works in almost every literary form, including plays , poems, novels, essays, histories, and scientific expositions. He wrote more than 20, letters and 2, books and pamphlets. He was an outspoken advocate of civil liberties , and he was at constant risk from the strict censorship laws of the Catholic French monarchy. His polemics witheringly satirized intolerance, religious dogma, and the French institutions of his day. By the time he left school, Voltaire had decided he wanted to be a writer, against the wishes of his father, who wanted him to become a lawyer.
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What's the difference between parody and satire?
A satire, on the other hand, is intended to do more than just entertain; it tries to improve humanity and its institutions. A satire is a literary work that tries to arouse the reader's disapproval of an object — a vice, an abuse, a faulty belief — by holding it up to ridicule. Satirists use euphemism, irony, exaggeration, and understatement to show, with a greater or lesser degree of levity, the follies of mankind and the paradoxes and idiocy that they can lead to. Some great examples of satire include George Orwell's Animal Farm, which ridicules the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia; Voltaire's Candide, which attacks the philosophy of Optimism; and Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, which satirizes the "high-class" tastes, social expectations, and popular philosophies of his time.
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A man of extraordinary energy and abilities, he produced some volumes of poetry, fiction, theatre, biblical and literary criticism, history and philosophy. In his earlier works , Voltaire had propounded an almost naive optimism, but the decade from was not easy for the philosopher-author. Politically, he had been forced from exile to exile for his criticism of monastic and clerical privileges in France and his Essay on Universal History, the Manners, and Spirit of Nations , which treated Christianity as just one world religion, rather than the final revealed truth. In , meanwhile, on November 1, a huge earthquake had struck the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, followed by a tsunami. Within minutes, tens of thousands were dead.
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